June 20, 2018
The new Mike McCarroll album "Mysterious" is in final production and should be available in July. Here's some details:
Mike McCarroll is back with his fourth studio album and the best one yet. True to his focus on providing a little something for everyone, the ten-track album titled "Mysterious" runs the gamut from outlaw country, to southern rock to bluegrass. It features many great performances from world-class guest musicians. Mike's signature vocals are the glue that pulls it all together.
Mysterious was produced and engineered by J. David Leonard, who also produced two previous MM albums "Honky Tonk Dreams" and "Twanglish". The album was recorded mostly in Atlanta with some tracks recorded in Nashville and Murfreesboro, TN. This time around Mike combines some classic covers along with his original tunes.
The opener "Sweet Kentucky Girl" is an original, upbeat, and amusing pure bluegrass tune written by MM. Recorded mostly on Music Row in Nashville, it features Rhonda Vincent's lead guitarist Josh Williams on some incredibly fast flat-picking guitar, banjo and mandolin. Todd Parks, bassist for Sam Bush provides excellent upright bass on this fun tune.
The second track, is a cover of an early Travis Tritt song titled "Restless Kind". This one has a little different take on Travis' arrangement, moving it more into the southern rock arena and framing it more as a biker tune. This was done deliberately so as not to try and simply copy his version. The song features Tritt's lead guitarist Wendell Cox who played on the original song, Sara Evans' fiddle player Bethany Olds Dick and Boz Scaggs drummer David Northrup. The arrangement was changed slightly adding somewhat of a Bo Diddly drum beat in portions of the song along with an organ track reminiscent of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" The song begins and ends with roaring motorcycle sounds giving it a real outlaw feel.
The third tune is a cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". This is a fun, upbeat country/bluegrass version featuring Wendell Cox on lead guitar, Josh Williams on mandolin. MM has been performing this song at live shows as a crowd sing-a-long for awhile and wanted to include a studio version of it on this record.
Track four is a cover of Candi Staton's "I Ain't Easy To Love" and was featured in the movie Muscle Shoals. This song is performed as a duet featuring blues artist Vallery Barbin who provides exceptional and very soulful vocals reminiscent of a combination of Stevie Nicks and Janice Joplin. While the original was very much R&B, this song was moved slightly towards a bluesy southern rock arrangement with fabulous guitar work by Jody Worrell.
The fifth song is a new MM original titled "In The Middle" with a distinct Waylon Jennings kind-of-feel to it. It features Wendell Cox using a B-Bender on his Fender Telecaster, Bethany Olds Dick on fiddle and David Northrup on drums.
Song number six is an upbeat, original rocking country tune titled "Good Thing Goin' On". The feel of this tune slightly reminds you of Wild Angels by Martina McBride with blazing pedal steel by the incredible Tommy Dodd, killer rock guitar by producer David Leonard, kicking drums by David Northrup. A little bass synthesizer was added for some extra texture, punch and bottom end. This is a song that you will keep coming back to it over and over.
Number seven is a song of lost love called "Signed, Sealed and Delivered". The song laments finding a break up letter and the mixed emotions of a sudden, unexpected loss of a trusted significant other. It features a super powerful lead guitar solo by the amazing Jody Worrell that is dripping with raw feeling. The harmony vocals lend an Eagles-type feel to this bluesy country tune.
"Take It On Home" is the eighth track and is a rousing, rocking outlaw country "go away, get lost" song written by MM. Wendell Cox kicks it off with some killer guitar licks and later cranks it out with a combo Sturgill Simpson/Waylon Jennings smoking-hot solo that kicks some serious butt. Tommy Dodd tears it up on pedal steel. This is pure Mike McCarroll country-with-an-attitude music and he clearly enjoys singing it.
Track nine is a slow sweet, original country love song titled "Stay Home With You Tonight" written by Mike. Listeners will enjoy Tommy Dodd's perfect pedal steel playing and the tight harmony vocals that make this song one you will want to play again and again.
The title cut "Mysterious" is the tenth and final track. This is a special song to Mike. His former lead guitarist, the late Perry Ray Boyce asked him to co-write it shortly before he passed away from brain cancer. Mike finished and recorded the song in memory of him. Perry wanted it to be modeled after an early Atlanta Rhythm Section sound. Steve Stone, lead guitarist for Atlanta Rhythm Section and Wendell Cox put the mojo on this tune bringing it true to form with ARS-style screaming guitars. The song features a late Paul Goddard-style bass solo and a Dean Daughtry-style Wurley by David Leonard. This one is pure southern rock through and through with an outro guitar solo that ARS fans will absolutely love.
The album is in final production and should be released in about a month.
Session musicians include:
Wendell Cox - lead guitarist for Travis Tritt
Josh Williams - lead guitarist for Rhonda Vincent
Steve Stone - lead guitarist for Atlanta Rhythm Section
David Northrup - drummer for Boz Scaggs
Bethany Olds Dick - fiddle player for Sara Evans & Pam Tillis
Todd Parks - bassist for Sam Bush
Tommy Dodd - pedal steel player for numerous top artists
Jody Worrell - former lead guitarist for Atlanta
Vallery Barbin - blues artist and "Second Life" avatar Noma Falta
J. David Leonard - producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist