Ralphy's C.D. Reviews

Review date 01-10-1999: Rich Wyman - C.D. Where we stand

As you can read in my review on the Concert Review Page I was very excited about the performance of Rich Wyman at Bospop 1999. Since that day I have been searching for his CD in the shops and a couple of weeks ago I found and bought it. Rich Wyman is a 31 year old classically trained pianist (and violinist) who makes rock music with heart and soul. He was born in Allentown, PA, but lives in Park City, Utah, with his wife and 2 children. On the CD it is stated that he was winner of the USA ASCAP-Award in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Although I couldn't find out in what category or what for exactly, I guess it's either for his strong vocals, his hammering piano-style, his beautiful songwriting or the combination of all these.

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"Where we stand" is Wyman's third CD, but the first commercial album release distributed by a record label. The second album, partly produced by Eddie van Halen, was offered to all major record labels, but refused. But now he found a record label in faraway Holland in New Road Music. Thus enabling me and my country men to experience Rich Wyman live. His style sounds like a combination between John Hiatt and Billy Joel with a bit of Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones thrown in. "Blinded by pain" (about a harsh break-up) is most like Billy Joel's piano playing and the beautiful opening song of the CD "Too many songs" reminds me of John Hiatt's best songwriting. Rich himself calls Keith Jarrett his main influence, but alas I don't know him or his music. The lyrics are very personal and accessable for the common Joe, so you can really feel into his songs. Examples: the great "Little things" which is about petty quarrels in a relationship,"Next day, last night" which describes the black out after a bad night of boozing or another single, the powerfull "So what!" about the whatever attitude we all have reached at some time in our live. Other songs worth mentioning are the ballad "Renee" (way better than the other ballad "Forever") and the last 3 songs of the album "Fatherless child", "Family Ties" (about the controversial subjects of inner-family child abuse) and the tittle song "Where we stand". The album "Where we stand" is promoted as the world's first Twin CD meaning you get 2 CD's with exactly the same music, supposedly one for at home and one for in the car. This gimmick was totally unnecessary. Rich Wyman's music doesn't need no gimmicks and can stand on his own easily. The rate: 7.0 .

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