Wayne Merdinger: Hidden Gems
(Independent / 1 April 2023)
Singer-songwriter Wayne Merdinger has a knack for radio-friendly ballads tinged with classic folk rock roots. From the rollicking folk waltz of Hidden Gems, country swing of Don't Even Think It'd Be Alright to the jazzy vibe of Lose To Gain or Stranger, and interesting chord changes in Missing You... it's clear he can mine the genre for a variety of moods.
The album is made up of six new tracks, along with six remixed singles from previously released work.
It's not surprising to find one of the tracks was inspired by a trip to Abbey Road studios - the influence of that time when pop was infused with orchestral sounds and a grand kind of sensibility is clear throughout the tracks.
"I wrote Abbey Road following a 2014 private tour I took of the studio, at which time I never imagined that I would have the chance to record there myself. But low and behold, I did record there, and it was only right to honour that experience with the remastered version of my 2017 tribute," he says in a statement.
As a singer, his fluid and expressive tenor sometimes reminds of Cat Stevens (back when he was known as such). His lyrics are poetic and sweeping in scope, much like the music and arrangements.
The album features, among other established studio musicians, long-time Simply Red guitarist and solo artist, Mark Jaimes, and includes multiple songs written by, or co-written with, Danny Saxon, British producer (Simply Red, Paul Young, Luciano Pavarotti, Jeff Beck, to name a few).
"Several of the songs on this album are truly "hidden gems," having been written decades ago but never seeing the light of day until now," he says. "It was an immense privilege, and a dream come true to work with a group of esteemed producers, musicians, and engineers, at Abbey Road Studios in London, MaD Studios in London, and Brick Road Studio in Scottsdale, AZ to bring this collaborative effort to fruition."
Personnel: Wayne Merdinger – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Keyboards / Danny Saxon – Piano, Keyboards, Percussion / Mark Jaimes – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar / Joe Costello – Drums, Scott Leader – Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Adam Armijo – Electric Guitar, John Hayden – Bass Guitar / Mark DeCozio – Piano, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar / Dan Tomlinson – Drums / Todd Chuba – Drums / Charity Lockhart – Backing Vocals / Ali Welbourn – Backing Vocals
Tracklist: Hidden Gems, Lose To Gain, One More Memory, Missing You, All My Life, American Dream, Abbey Road (Remastered), It's Raining Somewhere (Remastered), Times Are Changing (Remastered), Don't Even Think It'd Be Alright (Remastered), Stranger (Remastered), One Day At a Time (Remastered), Time of Our Lives (Remastered)
- Official Website: www.waynemerdinger.com
- Facebook: Wayne Merdinger Music