Reviews & Spotlights
Cimarron 615: Brand New Distance
Cimarron 615 are a brand new band but the five members that make up this acclaimed and much anticipated Americana rock juggernaut all have many miles already clocked on their respective music industry odometers. They came together with a common cause to honor their longtime friend and bandmate Rusty Young who was the last founding member of POCO manning the helms of that group until his passing in 2021. Cimarron 615 was born out of work on a tribute project dedicated to the departed steel guitar legend.
The gathering went so well that a new course was charted to form a new band based on the POCO legacy and the resulting debut Brand New Distance released on April 07, 2023 now serves as a musical roadmap that finds the guys - Tom Hampton, Bill Lloyd, Rick Lonow, Jack Sundrud and Michael Webb - running over some familiar turf on a journey that finds them ultimately discovering fresh new sonically pleasing territory along the way.
The 10 songs on the debut set sound like a celebration. But like a celebration of life which this project most definitely is - that party can be bitter or sweet. Tom Hampton is the young gun who was the last man drafted into POCO before its abrupt ending. He is no stranger to the feelings of exhalation and having the rug pulled out from under him. His "Bitter And The Sweet" is among the best tracks on the album that pulls on the heartstrings and confirms Rusty's choice to bring him into the band in the first place. And - you can't miss his fiery slide played throughout showing off skills he picked up from his mentor Young and the recently departed David Lindley.
This is a vocal album as displayed through the high-powered harmonies revealed on the opener "High Lonesome Stranger". This is a guitar record especially when Lloyd and Hampton trade incendiary licks as they do on "Find Me When the Night Comes". Jack Sundrud's warm and familiar voice takes a darker turn on the brooding and Biblical-themed "Cain's Blood" that tells the universal tale of good versus evil and battling one's own personal demons on this righteous rocker. Most of all Brand New Distance is an instant classic and a convincing calling card for the future of Cimarron 615.
It's a good feeling to know that the album ends with the sturdy "City Of Angels" - an upbeat and uplifting anthem that seems to have its DNA rooted in the song known as GFTK among the diehard POCOnuts. The Hampton and Webb penned number combines both of their musical stories and finds them ultimately leaving their places of origin to discover their destiny in California - presumably with this new band. Those hopes and dreams are certainly justified as Brand New Distance goes a long way in establishing Cimarron 615 as a roots band to be reckoned with as they emerge from the wreckage of one classic act to claim their own moment in the sun.
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Review by Rockin' Rich Lynch |