1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
Jeff Aug is a guitarist and player in the band Floating Stone. Living Room Sessions is his fourth solo album. He attempted to set a Guinness World record with a promotional tour including six concerts in six different countries within 24 hours.
Jeff is also the guitarist for Anne Clark, http://www.side-line.com/ac_index.php, and his writing for her album inspired him to create most of these tracks which could not fit on her latest album, The Smallest Acts of Kindness.
Jeff is a Washington D.C. born guitarist who has performed (over 1000 concerts) as support for Rush, Queensryche, Albert Lee, Soft Machine, Allan Holdsworth, Freaky Fukin Weirdoz, and many others. (Jeff Aug.com, 2009).
His Living Room Sessions, having been recorded in the living room of pianist and composer Murat Parlak (Yehudi Menuhin, Branford Marsalis, Anne Clark). (Jeff Aug.com, 2009).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This body of work is made up from the extra music Jeff created for Anne Clarks album. All of the songs were first takes.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
Boots on Fire Fast paced guitar rocker that gets things off to a foot tapping start. There is a music video included with the promo CD which shows Jeff in action. Just amazing lightning work on the guitar strings. My son is taking guitar lessons and this will definitely help motivate him. Great start. Rhythm stays with you long after the song ends.
One Twenty There is also a video for this song and it displays Jeff more intricate playing and slow conscious song building. Very reflective piece. Nice fireside, wine or coffee sipping song.
Intermezzo I An instrumental bridge between songs. Very short, but wonderful.
Highlife Building acoustic romp which sounds wonderful. Very intricate for only a minute and 452 seconds.
Lightness One of the best songs on the CD. Flamenco inspired song which builds with intensity and extravagance. Very emotional and inspiring. You can imagine this one in a Spanish bar with a flamenco dancer trying to keep up with the pace of the rhythm. Excellent.
Musicbox Ballerina Another of the longer songs on the CD. Very early morning, sun rising over the ocean, type of song. Wonderful emotion and you can imagine a ballerina dancing to the rhythm in the background.
Intermezzo II Very short, but longer than the first intermezzo, up tempo song.
Hoedown on the Chicken Farm Cow in the background signals a real barn burner. Foot stomper, just makes you want to get up and dance! Familiar kinda country rhythm, complete with clapping in the background. Cow and roosters end the song. You all come back now
Louisiana Voodoo Boogie I love the blues so this was also one of my favorites. Good consistent rhythm that really lights up the place. Would like to see this live. Bet he has allot of fun with it.
Passing Time Back to country rock. Picking and grinning.
September One of my favorite months of the year, so this one was also very special. Reflective and full of that Indian summer feel. I really like this one.
Whenever It Comes Another of the longest songs on the album. Again, very reflective and perfect for relaxing and sipping that cup of coffee in the morning or wine at night. Moody and full of emotional pondering.
Chemical Funk Very funky and also allot of fun to listen to and would be great to see live. Has a beat that will make it hard to sit still and listen to this one.
Intermezzo III Another short interlude of soft picking and rhythm.
Sunday Morning Great picking and another beautiful morning wake up song. Feels perfect for a Sunday morning. Good ending.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
Hard to say. Without lyrics and other instrumentation it is mostly a mood album for relaxing at the beginning or end of the day or as background music at dinner parties. Definitely some of the best music I have in that category. But it cannot compete with a full band and is not meant to be music that changes the genre.
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, both in the ways it lifts you up and at the same time relaxes you. It is a wonderful mood altering set of music. I will play it many times in the future.
Rating: 7/10 Very good guitar work that needs lyrics and further instrumentation to lift it to the next level.
Reviewed by Prof on July 3rd, 2009