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      • Smalltown Photo #1
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      Country
      The crowd is restless. It's as if a familiar scent of excitement has intoxicated their senses. Lights dim. There is movement from the side of the stage. Figures emerge. A beating drum is heard. Guitars begin to plead with each member of the audience, asking them to participate, to surrender. The ... read more
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      The crowd is restless. It's as if a familiar scent of excitement has intoxicated their senses. Lights dim. There is movement from the side of the stage. Figures emerge. A beating drum is heard. Guitars begin to plead with each member of the audience, asking them to participate, to surrender. The bass begins to rumble. And it begins.

      Listeners are thrust into the world of SmallTown. Soaring harmonies, blazing guitars, thundering drums and 4 vocalists numb the senses with top shelf musicianship and talent. Not to mention the hits from their debut CD, The Last Great Goodbye. A musical rollercoaster ride that begs the listener to return to familiar territory, citing influences as broad as Bon Jovi and George Strait, Def Leppard and Garth Brooks. Put simply, quite a ride.

      The Last Great Goodbye finds SmallTown culling styles that are fused of infectious Eagles-type harmonies, melodious, yet cutting edge guitar hooks, and vocals from three, that's right, three lead singers in Mace, Stayce & Jason. Rounded out with the thunderous drums of Johnny Zimmerman, and SmallTown has fans and critics agreeing that they are a musical force to be heard. The group has roots that are made up of the area's best and most formidable musicians/songwriters. Having penned songs for groups like All-4-One (songwriting and musician credits) & The Brave (songwriting and musician credits), widespread musical exposure is nothing new to SmallTown. In fact, J-13 & The Last Great Goodbye were actually two of the songs that landed two of the members a publishing deal with the same company that holds the rights to Boot Scoot Boogie and The Gambler. That is not bad company.

      The album kicks off with the self-titled SmallTown. The listener is then woven through a work that recalls bands like the Eagles (Sometimes, Just Us Three), Bon Jovi and Def Leppard (SmallTown, What If I Did), & George Strait (J-13, Dancing Her Memory Away). The unique thing is how all of these influences become a signature sound that although you are reminded of some of them, you are treated to a special blend of music that SmallTown can say is "their" sound.

      Out of 5 possible stars from reviewers on the popular indie site, CD Baby, here are just two of the positive reviews that were just recently published:

      The first comes from Malcom Paris from Indiana:
      And the hits just keep on coming....
      5 out of 5 stars
      This CD is a must have for anyone who loves country or rock or both. This CD has a wide variety of styles all mixed into one neat package. You would never be able to tell that "What if I Did" and "Dancing Her Memory Away" were from the same band, except for maybe the vocals. There is not a single filler song on this record as they were all crafted to be hits. This is hands down, one outstanding record!

      Still another from Dustin in Nebraska:
      Great mix
      5 out of 5 stars
      SmallTown's debut album features a nice mix of music that is sure to please anyone. Harmonies soar on the acapella intros to songs like "What If I Did" and "I'll Be There", while "Just Us Three" has a Little River Band/CSN&Y sound to it. "Jesse" and "My Name On It" sound as though they have been pulled directly from your favorite country music station, while "Dancing Her Memory Away" has a nice traditional-country sound to it. If you're like me, and you like several different genres of music but tend to favor country more than anything, I promise you that this is an album you will be listening to over and over again.

      These are just a couple of fans who see something different in this band whose beginnings go all the way back to a little town called Canadian, Texas, where fate would have Mace and Stayce meeting in high school over 20 years ago. After playing in several bands together, Stayce joined forces with Freddy in 1991 to form the popular Christian Rock band, The Brave. The Brave toured the country extensively when Freddy was only 16 years old. "Freddy was way beyond his years as far as playing level went. In fact, we had to have his mom sign the record contract because he was too young to legally do it!" The Brave occupied the charts for three years with their debut album, Battlecries, and their sophomore follow up, Trust. Winning over fans and critics everywhere, the Brave packed it in around 1994, giving way to the next band that brought together Mace, Freddy & Stayce in a country rock band called The Boudrows. "The Boudrows were the precursor to SmallTown, opening up gigs for such country luminaries LoneStar, Ricochet, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, Mark Wills, Joe Diffie, and a cast of others.

      Oddly enough, across town there was another fledgling singer/songwriter who was making tracks of his own. First with the band Shadowplay, and later the Jason Scot Band, Jason would seemingly end up sharing the same stage with The Boudrows, and a friendship was birthed.

      Although Stayce and Jason had known each other for many years, it wasn't until current band manager Amy Cacciacarne got the two together to record some demos that Stayce began to see that theirs was a common love of music, a passion. It was only a matter of months before Jason was asked to join what was to become SmallTown. The pairing of three dominant lead singers in Mace, Stayce & Jason was a recipe for success. "The minute that the four of us started singing harmonies, we knew the magic was there" says Jason. "As soon as we all plugged in, added the music, and started working through the tunes, we knew it was going to be something special," he says. The finishing touch was adding the drummer, Johnny Zimmerman. A group was birthed.

      "It's a good thing Jason joined-it was actually he, who named us!" says Stayce. Coincidentally, there was a song that Stayce had left on the backburner that was in fact titled, SmallTown, that Jason knew nothing of. It seemed only fitting that the song needed to be recorded. It's now the first song on their debut CD.

      SmallTown has set their goals on getting their music to the masses. They are already gearing up for their next album. "Songwriting is where we live. It's lyrically a way to document our lives," says Stayce. "I lost my dad this last year, and it was rough. I have survived more in the last six months than most people should ever have to go through, but the pain will find it's way into every word that I write from now on." Listeners will feel the tears in new songs currently slated for the next record with titles like "Missing You", "It's You," and "I Wanna Be Your Superman".

      The beauty in the blueprint of SmallTown is that all of the front four are accomplished songwriters that are just as effective individually as they are collectively. "Any one of us can write alone, but sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of, or maybe just take one part of the song in a different direction," says Mace McAdams, the "Vince Gill" of the bunch. "There are songs on this record that were maybe 75% done, and they just needed a little TLC. That's when collaboration really spurs us on, when another person gets involved in the lyrical perspective, as well as the musical."

      The years of musical heritage and load of artistic integrity promises to bring SmallTown to the masses. One listen and you will be hooked. So buckle in, sit back and enjoy the ride. SmallTown is just getting started.

      Categories: Music | Alternative | Pop

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