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CD title - You and I Are Brave
by Phil Turk Band
Review by Charles Harrelson
Phil Turk Band Official Website
Phil Turk Band on i-Tunes
Phil Turk Band - Social Media
CD title - You and I Are Brave
by Phil Turk Band
Review by Charlie Harrelson
You and I are Brave marks the inaugural solo effort of Phil Turk after a lengthy hiatus from music.
Turk had notably played in a hard rock band in Chicago before going on to obtain his PhD in
Statistics and subsequently becoming a professor.
While writing the songs for the CD, Turk met Duncan Lorimer, an astrophysics professor at
West Virginia University (WVU) hailing from the UK, who currently is in several local jazz and
folk bands. Lorimer introduced Turk to Mark Poole, owner of Zone 8 Recording in Morgantown, WV and,
at the beginning of this year, Turk began recording tracks for the CD.
Shortly thereafter, through Lorimer and Poole, two other musicians agreed to help Turk complete the CD.
Chris Audia is an experienced studio and session drummer living in Bridgeport, WV with a long history of
playing with different local and national acts. Juliana Yap, a keyboard player born in Indonesia, is a piano
senior faculty member in the WVU Community Music Program and an adjunct piano professor at
Washington and Jefferson College who has played internationally and received awards.
To round out the project, Turk asked several music students from WVU and local musicians to contribute
arrangements for certain songs. Notably, this includes the acclaimed flutist and recording artist, WVU's
Nina Assimakopoulos. You and I are Brave also includes a song that Turk wrote and sings in Chinese.
Over the years technology has gotten better and better. Just take making music as an example.
As consumers we fell in love with records. Records allowed the artist to publish artist bio's, song lyrics,
contact information in addition to promotional photos from the band. A record release was an event.
Then the CD evolved and became
the next big thing. Due to the small size of the CD album art and
the cool info inside became unnessesary. A decade later music was compressed and became a series of one's and zero's.
Lost in this new world of digital music was the excitement of a tangible product, an album with
great cover art and all the extra's published inside the sleeve.
I say all this because Phil Turk's CD was a return to this storied past. The CD opens up to reveal artist information, song lyrics,
studio credits and much more.
The CD begins with an instrumental piece called 'True happiness under the autumn leaves' a soft peaceful
reminder of the cover art. The listener is greeted by a violin melody over a guitar. The song leads into track two which is
a continuation of track one with the addition of vocals. Phil's vocals are like no other singer I have heard before.
He has one of the best vocal vibrato's I have ever heard and he uses it to perfection. His vocal range is limited but
he know's his limitations and stays well within his personal comfort zone. I would have liked to hear Phil stretch those boundaries
to see where it might take him. At one time Phil was a rock vocalist. I would have liked to have heard some of that inner rock star
show up on this release. I think it would have added additional excitement.
Each song is a tapestry of life. Phil is as much a poet as he is a song writer. He tells tales of life, love and the search
for inner happiness wrapped up inside an adult contemporary genre.
The CD ends as it started. All There Is to Say is a repeat of song two done in Chinese.
What a creative way to end the CD.
One nice thing about Phil having all the college contacts is the vast array of talented musicians and
the instruments which can be at your disposal. It's not every day you run into a cello, flute,
violin and even a petal steel guitar player eager to be involved in someone's project. The addition of
all these instruments adds an exotic edge to the music. The music is greatly enhanced by these additional
Listen to samples of Phil Turk complements of CD Baby.
In the Studio
True Happiness Under the Autumn Leaves /
All There Is to Say/
Waiting for Morning/
Flow Like a River /
The Finish Line /
All There Is to Say (Chinese Version)/
The recording was pristine and full of fidelity. The exotic instruments added plenty of texture
to the mix without losing focus on the vocalist. This was an impressive piece of work by the studio.
I hope Phil uses this studio again for his next project.
As stated before, Phil Turk has one of the best vibrato's of any male singer
I have ever heard before. This great feature will not make or break a vocalist
but it is great to flaunt it if you've got it. I was very impressed with the added instruments
used on this release. It was exciting to hear the additional audio colors of a violin, upright bass, flute, hulusi,
lapsteel guitar and cello just to name a few.
Phil is a great story teller using music as his medium. It doesn't hurt to have a college campus to find additional
musicians to help you round out the project. Hat's off to the creative aspects of these great players.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Charles Harrelson
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