FINDING PEACE: the message in John Cremona's music is positive, but with a few side trips to Hell. But even his dark stories are buoyed by the light in his voice. It's a gentle, relaxed instrument with an appealing tenor range set in the service of generous melodies. Ted Drozdowski Boston Phoenix 10/2003 Singer-songwriter-acoustic guitarist John Cremona serves up 11 acoustic-based originals that tend to lean toward the mellow side of the musical spectrum. With a knack for clever lyrics, Cremona delivers his prose with an unaffected, almost stark reserve. However the outcome manages an emotive quality that is undeniably potent. Assisted from song to song by a host of musical friends that add color and shape to the tracks, Cremona has filled his canvas with some interesting material. Best cuts include the beautiful 'Twilight in Laredo,' the melancholy of 'St. Augustine,' the Ode to Billy Joe-esque, 'Bury Me On The Moon,' and the album's engaging title track 'Rain.' Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine, 9/2003 In the roots rock title track Rain, the singer 'ain't feeling anybody's words, so he prays for rain, 'cause rain is something he can feel'. Boston blues veteran Peter Goff howls the rain with a stunning slide guitar accompaniment. Goff is among an outstanding cast of musicians assembled on this CD. ------ From an interview with Glenda Medeiros - writer, choreographer, crooner, spiritual partner, bug GM: Why is music important to you? JC: I find music life saving. When music is beautiful, ordered, and free, it reflects the way I think things really are - or at least can and should be. In the experience of listening to music you can enter an ideal world. Of all the arts, music is unique. It surrounds you. I think that pretty much for any listener, any type of music that they enjoy can be a window to another world. GM: What about you? JC: When I'm really in the moment, self-consciousness is lost and I'm not thinking about the music. I'm thinking music. I have a capacity for gazing - (John laughs here.) GM: Whom do you admire in the music world? JC: Bono, Neil Young, -dozens of people, Carol King, Caetano Veloso, -a zillion people. GM: When did your music practice begin? JC: I've been playing guitar for 28 years. I started playing piano at 12 years old - mostly self-taught - had a few lessons. Voice and guitar are my center. I always wrote. When I started playing piano, I immediately wrote -on black keys only. (John then sang his first song, ) Demon Has a spasm -leaps out with sarcasm -people wailing -revolution's failing -bodies float down river -women cry while shiver -children wailing -at their dad's blood sailing -head fur washed ashore -man's scalp lost at war -people wailing -revolution's failing Not good, but not bad for a twelve year old. GM: What are your music wants now? JC: I'd like to share my music, to be heard by others, -enjoyed by others. I'd like to continue recording, make CD's... and have others record my songs too. That would be nice. GM: You've been writing for many years and have a bevy of incredible songs. Pick a favorite and tell us why you chose it. JC: Well, when you ask me about a favorite work from my own songs - - - - I don't really have favorites, but three do come to mind - Rain, Chinatown and Peace of Mind. In all three there's a narrative, fragmentary that it is, and uh - and in parts there's an approach of addressing the listener directly about a matter, but not in the first person. It's a device often employed in musical theatre, old Hollywood musicals, and it's loosely related to what in poetry is called 'apostrophe.' GM: Those 3 songs are all on your Rain CD. I'll close with some questions about it. First - the title. Why Rain? JC: (pause...silence....... ) Well... there's a melancholia associated with rain, but it's also something that is healing -so nourishing for the earth -um Without the rain the plants won't grow. It seems without pain we don't grow. I like that it's an image from nature, and that images from nature can never become clichéd. The Argentine writer Borges says that all of the great themes have correspondences in natural events. Snow for death is one example he gives. He also says that quoting Virgil, however, is like quoting nature and is not really plagiarism. I don't know any Virgil so I've stuck with nature. GM: And how would you describe the music on Rain? JC: On the CD? GM: (laughter) or the rain in nature --if that's what you want to talk about JC: Oh boy, how'd I describe the music? That's a tall order. (pause) Well -I'd say there are three main streams of influence: American folk music, country music, and British rock and roll I know that's still quite general. I'd like to think that the songs vary in performance and production. So it might be better to talk about a few of the songs in specific, otherwise we'd float away in generalities. Every song has acoustic guitars on it and half have electric guitars as well. As a songwriter I enjoy the challenge of writing in different genres which also reflects the different musical styles I listen to for enjoyment. I listen to mostly what is now called Americana and Alt -Country as well as a host of Brits - from the Pretenders to Coldplay. And I do listen to quite a bit of Brazilian music and Spanish classical guitar. Because I love these musics, bits and pieces of them find their way into my own music. GM: And the message? JC: The music is the message. I'm the messenger. GM: I do have one more question. What's after Rain for you? -- flowers blossoming - more storms to weather - rainbows? JC: The next CD is tentatively entitled Sleet. GM: (laughter) Thanks a lot John! ------ In light of the second Gulf war, the dark and psychedelic lyrics of St. Augustine are timely: 'So show me your face -In the gutter -Show me your face -In a dream -Show me your face - I'm your brother -St. Augustine' Rain closes with a stark acoustic hymn to the part of our mind where 'compassion is true, beauty is truth, and poets don't have to jump off the roof.'
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