Here, in his first solo CD, Alex Nahabedian (6/11/64-12/23/06) produces a hallmark poetic vision of ballads, honkytonks, and rockers. His artistry in melding genres is immersed in American roots, but also is a unique extension of personal influences. As a compliment to his song writing, Alex's personality is revealed and thrives through his singing. On the surface we hear a tender vulnerability; reserved, but when we listen more intently, we realize his range is advanced and certain. His lyrics are sensuous and unpretentious; his melodies are passionate and catchy. Alex composed on acoustic guitar, resulting in a strong acoustic presence on this disc. His playing on guitar and bass is impeccable and soulful. Some critics may call him 'old school', but what he offers the community of song writers is a refined poetry; stripped down, and uncontaminated by contemporary trends. As a child, he and his life long friend / song writing partner, Laurence Gomez, would dissect and write songs inspired by the pens of their masters (Beatles, Stones, Dylan, and The Band). This collaboration began a love affair with the craft of song writing which helped to keep each other in check, avoiding gimmicks and formulaic solutions. Although all the material on this CD was written by Alex, the two remained close and consulted each other, to the last. As Alex matured as a song writer, he grew fond of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Gram Parsons. This discovery brought him even further back in time to study Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen, and Hank Williams. For several years he worked as a chef, which consumed much of his time and put song writing on the back burner. It was during his later years (2003-2006), after leaving the culinary profession, that Alex developed his own authentic voice. The only song in this volume that predates this period is 'Poor Joe' (2002). In February of 2004, Alex learned he had inoperable cancer which impelled him to produce 40 plus songs. That Alex was so prolific during this period of unimaginable personal challenge is testament to his great spirit and ability to command his craft. The remainder of these songs, plus the addition of a few older ones, will follow in two other volumes. Although Alex sings and plays throughout the CD, he maintained that he just wanted to write and arrange songs for others to play. Listening to this low budget basement studio production aided by the technical prowess of Keith Alexander, makes us wish he would have performed them live as well. Vahan Nahabedian, 2007.
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