Smooth, raspy, and versatile are three words to describe this weekend's featured artist. There are more, but chances are you don't care what I have to say about him. He never made the top tier of money makers that could pack stadiums. But I doubt you can find a lot of singers/musicians that have more raw talent for creating such a unique sound.
He hails from Middlesbrough England and if have never heard of him, it's time to meet Chris Rea. Who knows? You may want to buy a CD, after you listen to this small sample of his many fine works.
His first hit got quite a bit of airplay after its release in 1978. It was nominated for a "Song of the Year" Grammy and was the his biggest U.S. hit. Here is a young Chris with Fool (If You Think It's Over):
This next song is the title track of a 1986 release. It has a relaxing jazzy edge to it that I think most will like. Here is the elongated live version of On The Beach:
Twelve years later, Chris was still churning out Class A music. This one definitely has a classy, smooth sounding mix of jazz and blues that never fails to please the ears. Here is Blue Cafe:
This next song is my favorite Chris Rea song, hands down. And I say this with the understanding that these others are some pretty damned good tunes. When I first heard the beginning of it, I thought it was a new Dire Straits song (and it's quite hard to believe that this one is almost 20 years old).
If there were to be a simplified genre called smooth blues, this would be the one shining banner example. It's complex, yet simple, mellow, but rhythmic. This is no technological breakdown, this is The Road To Hell:
As an added feature, I have an act that some (including me) think has a Chris Rea-esque sound to it in some of their songs. One of our occasional posters (Anonim), who pops in once in a great while, turned me on to this one. I tried to find some info to share on this song and band, but I could find nothing in English. If he sees this, maybe he can fill us in on the background of this song and the band they call Kirac.
If you like Chris Rea, and other moody styles sounding similar, I think you will like this one also. I know I do, so give it a listen if you are so inclined. The song's title (if I have this right) means "strange kind of love song", and instantly puts you in a Turkish cafe somewhere in Istanbul. Here is Bir Garip Ask Bestesi: