Craig Cummings | Road Trips And Relationships

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Road Trips And Relationships

by Craig Cummings

With a soulful, compelling voice singing intelligent, carefully crafted lyrics over a wash of pedal steel, acoustic, and electric guitars, Craig performs east coast Americana music that incorporates influences from country, folk, rock and roll...
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. You Go To My Head
3:41 $0.99
2. No Strings Attached
6:36 $0.99
3. I Just Wanna Be Loved By You
5:00 $0.99
4. Whiskey Girl
5:35 $0.99
5. Letters From Your Past
4:44 $0.99
6. Smother Me
4:06 $0.99
7. Don\'t Talk To Me That Way
6:05 $0.99
8. Tallahassee
5:08 $0.99
9. Open Your Arms
5:17 $0.99
10. Sweet Summer Daydreams
4:25 $0.99
11. Highway To Love
4:31 $0.99
12. I Know You\'re Leaving Me
3:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Craig has been a part of the mid-Atlantic music scene for many years. His songs reflect the diversity of modern American music, blending influences from country, folk, rock and roll, and blues music. The songs on his CD, Road Trips and Relationships, celebrate the beauty of interpersonal relationships and how meaningful relationships help us navigate the challenges of our everyday lives. The road trip songs cast the relationship dynamic against the back drop of the American experience and examine how relationships sustain us as we move from place to place – and as we alternate between feeling apart from, and a part of something special. Craig is joined on the CD by a terrific collection of musicians from the mid-Atlantic area. Bob Hume (guitar), John Walker (drums), and Bryan Smith (bass), all hail from northern Virginia and are fixtures in that area’s musical scene. Wall Matthews (guitar and keyboards) is one of Craig’s closest friends and an accomplished musician with credentials that include releasing 6 solo recordings. Dave Hadley (pedal steel) is a gifted musician who appears live with, and on the recordings of many east coast musicians.



to write a review

Richard Baker

Road Trips and Relationships
This is an aptly titled collection of 12-songs by singer/songwriter, Craig Cummings. The record covers a road map of America and the lamented, heated, lost, ill-fated, destined, loving, and ruined relationships that lie between its borders. The first track, "You Go to My Head" offers a Beatlesque melody with a tale about infatuated adolescent love. The next track, "No Strings Attached", covers a myriad of destinations lamenting the loss of a love who has traveled a lot of territory out of the grasp of the lover who longs for her return. Cummings defines his role in all of this as the "east coast angel" who wants his wandering woman to be with him. The tale is punctuated by the interplay of hot guitar, pedal steel, and keyboards.

The Neil Young influenced ballad "Whiskey Girl", with its achingly tearful steel, underscores the role of the "east coast angel", who dreams about his whiskey girl from California as he heads east, covering many stops in between. He ends with "Then I flew into Baltimore/So I wouldn't be alone", his nest on the east coast.

Throughout the record, Cummings clearly tells us that he is "from the 60's". His melodies are not only reminiscent of The Beatles, but there are strains of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Poco, a generous representation of the Southern California sounds of the era.

What makes this a 5-star deal to me is that Cummings is also a melodic and lyrical brother to the late-Byrd and powerful, but underrated, singer/songwriter, Gene Clark. Cummings' heartfelt vocal on "Don't Talk to Me That Way" evokes the spirit of the late Clark.

My personal favorite is "Tallahassee", which brings together the themes of geography and love. The lyrics are expressive and witty. "Tallahassee, I'd like to panhandle you tonight/Tallahassee, I swear that I will treat you right." The steel and blazing bending Telecaster sound like they understand what Cummings is evoking, within and without the borders of love.

In fact, the musicians on this record are not only superb players, they are intuitive enough to convey the moods of the singer. California-like keyboards and an appropriate guitar solo at about 4:00 on "I Just Wanna Be Loved By You" reflect the yearning for unconditional love, the plea from the singer. The players come together on "Open Your Arms", with a guitar opening that echoes Lloyd Green's steel beginning to the Byrds' "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and a countrified melody with shades of Poco. "Highway to Love", with its Irish lilting sound features two twang-infested guitar solos and Lucinda-like lyrics. "Take that highway to love/That boulevard south/That Interstate home to my smile/Take that turnpike to town/Two lanes southwest/Then a dirt road that runs for a mile/To our house in the pines/Just follow that highway to love."

The guitarists, Wall Matthews and Bob Hume, serve the function of keeping the music aligned to the lyrics, as Jesse Ed Davis did for Gene Clark. The players' musical roots are one with Cummings'.

Despite the fact that Cummings' sound conjures the memories of a rich musical past, the record is an original creation of a tasteful singer/songwriter keeping the spirit alive.