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Desmond Drive | I Called I

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Desmond Drive

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United States - Georgia

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Pop: Beatles-pop Pop: 70's Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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I Called I

by Desmond Drive

Melodic pop in the tradition of The Beatles, XTC, and many other 60s and 70s influences. Rich and singable at the same time, this musical feast stands up to repeated listenings. Rejoice.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Two-Headed Beast
3:49 $0.99
2. Poker Face
4:09 $0.99
3. Isn't It a Wonder
4:58 $0.99
4. Goodbye
4:08 $0.99
5. Your Name
4:10 $0.99
6. Simple Things
4:07 $0.99
7. Leader
3:37 $0.99
8. My Will
4:39 $0.99
9. Happy Tollbooth Guy
3:35 $0.99
10. My Tribe
3:47 $0.99
11. One Night
7:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Desmond Drive is a melodic pop band in the tradition of The Beatles and XTC, with many other 60s and 70s influences. The songs are immediately hummable, yet stand up to repeated listenings.

Let's meet the band members, shall we?

The band is led by Bill Shaouy, he of the Odyssian musical background. Bill has been a member of New Americans, Racer Green, Grable & Bell, and Doc-Wiso, and has also been a session musician for Kathy Fleischmann, Sean McEntee, The Riff, and Traildust. I Called I is Bill's first album of his own songs.

What made Bill decide to become a musician? "As a kid, during a particularly long and dreary winter, my brother and I would play Monopoly on Saturdays while listening to the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. All I could think of while listening to it was 'I WISH I could play like that. I WISH I could play like that.'".

Drummer Chuck Kelly has an eclectic background, from pop (Racer Green) to country (Kate James and Lost Country) to blues (Andy Makely Band). Elements of each style and more have made it into the CD.

What made Chuck decide to become a musician? "Dad had me listen to Benny Goodman's 'Sing, Sing, Sing' early on. There was nothing quite like the old recordings of Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. From there it was on to rock heroes like Neil Peart, Alex Van Halen, etc., but now that the mullet years have thinned themselves out, I would say that there is no inspiration greater than those drummers who can keep a band together, and play what is tasteful and appropriate for the moment."

Bassist Steve Platnick is best known as the long-time bassist for The Riff. After playing with My Evil Twin and The Steve Wade Band, Steve joined Desmond Drive.

What made Steve decide to become a musician? "I was in band camp as a kid, learning the accordion, when the music instructor said he needed someone to volunteer to learn and play bass. I was curious so I tried it, and haven't looked back since." Influences include Bootsy Collins and Sting, but XTC's Colin Moulding remains Steve's biggest inspiration.

Rob Gal is a veteran of such bands as 6X, The Coolies, Anne Richmond Boston, and The Ottoman Empire. Producer of I Called I, Rob performs double duty with the guitar parts.

What made Rob decide to become a musician? "Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock was my defining moment. I thought, 'Man, I want some threads like those! And a white guitar!!' I got neither."



to write a review

Annie Reuter

I Called I
Desmond Drive’s debut album, I Called I is an 11-song alt-pop album with much musical sophistication. While references to Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison and even the Beatles abound, Desmond Drive manages to set themselves apart with intriguing monologues introducing each song and flawless musical accompaniment. A session musician who has been a part of several rock and pop bands, Bill Shaouy is the leader of the band, providing impeccable vocals throughout the disc.

The album starts out with a monologue: “The studio date was set/And the band was ready to record/To celebrate the glory of relationship/To witness the folly of control/To marvel at all creation/Rejoice!” In fact, much of I Called I has narrations introducing each song; however some more than others are a bit curious at times. While the monologues aren’t always needed, they do help break up the album. First track, “Two-Headed Beast” is the strongest track on the album. With a hint of Bruce Springsteen vocals, Shaouy leads the band well. “I’ve worn this skin for so long now/That’s all I thought I was/But love reflects what I don’t see/More than a mirror does” he sings. The piano accentuates his vocals well and while the music is incredibly strong, it never overpowers Shaouy’s vocals, which are the heart of the song.

Incredulously, “Poker Face” also reveals another rock icon – this time the infamous Roy Orbison. While Shaouy is crying over lost love the backing vocals seemingly take the listener back to 60s Doo-Wop with continuous “sha-la-la sha-la-la-oooh.”

Extremely versatile, much of the album recalls musicians of the past. However, despite the comparisons and strong musicianship some songs lack the mastership shown on previous tracks. One track in particular, “Simple Things,” sounds like what being in a psychedelic state would feel like with curious lyrics, “Me, I am a lover of humor pythonese/I am a lover of chick peas Lebanese/I am a lover of love songs McCarney’s/I am a lover of all the simple things they say are meant to be.” While I’m sure this wasn’t the intention, both the musical arrangement and accompanying lyrics grab the listener’s attention.

Regardless, I Called I has much to offer listeners. Whether one is looking for a ballad (“Your Name” has stellar organ accompaniment) or time travel (in addition to “Poker Face” “Goodbye” sounds like something the Beatles may have sung at some point in their career) one thing is certain, Desmond Drive’s debut will surly get stuck in your head

John Adcox

Desmond Drive was a breath of fresh air to me. While the roots are showing -- influences of XTC and "Abbey Road" era Beatles are impossible to miss -- the results seem original. It's nice to be reminded that pop doesn't = shallow.

The tunes themselves are catchy pop... hummable and, frankly, fun to listen to. Thre lyrics are at time almost childlike: the song "Isn't it a Wonder" it at first pass a simple catalog of ordinary things that suddenly seem miraculous. But upon a second listen, the joy of epiphany seems moving and filled with unabashed joy.

Your Name, on the other hand, is a decidedly mature song, about enduring, spiritual love as opposed to the fire of infatuation that makes too many pop love songs seem banal. My Tribe is terrific.

Give this a listen. It's fun, and its seeming simplicity hides surprises that reward repeat listenings. I wonder if this band ever plays live?

Amy Shaouy

I Called I
How refreshing and unique this music is. It's nice to hear new music that doesn't sound like everything else out there. Bravo!


I Called I
This is a easy-listening album, and for those like me who love that genre, very welcome. The lead vocals are strong, the arrangements melodic, and the songs accessible without sounding derivative. Good stuff!