I included this Chapter just for fun, but especially for my BFF Lee Sampson because he is quite the trivia and music aficionado among other things! Big thanks to Lee and his team of proofreaders here too, Basem, Steve and Jon! AND NOW ROCKDALE’S HERO MIGUEL!
So back in the days when I used to have spare time (yikes), I would go down once a week to Little Five Points down in the ATL and pick up a box of CDs. After a week or so of listening to the CDs of complete strangers and unknown bands I would write 500 word CD reviews for Southeast Performer Magazine, now known simply as http://performermag.com/.
So here is the quiz, and it has absolutely nothing to do with pavement management, and there you have it and that is how my brain works! Enclosed is a transcript of the article that I wrote for this musician (whom I had never heard of I might add) back in 2001 from the seat of my Ford Explorer.
I want you to guess who this person is. No cheating either!!!!!! Turn off your computer so you aren’t tempted to get on the Google thing and don’t call to ask a friend. Brock will put the name of this now very very famous musician upside down on a page of his choice somewhere between here and the end of your book. Again, I have changed the name of the CD and made up fictitious names for the Musician and her Band Members. If anyone wants to see the original CD review as published I can email it to you.
While I would like to take personal responsibility for “Sally’s” career, and say to you that she won all of her Grammy awards because of this one single CD Review, I can’t. Although, you have to admit that based on my previous track record of writing here and what has happened to Sally since then, this little Book on Better Roads might actually have enough substance in it to actually do everything we say it can do!!!! Just look at what happened to “Sally”! So please share this book with everyone you know, comment wherever possible (positive or negative) and remember to JOIN us at www.stringbenders.org. Great things are about to happen to our roads and economy on our planet!
OK, set your timer for 3 minutes; let’s see if you get this one Lee!
Transcript Begins – Please forgive the spelling, used DRAGON.
Sally Stringbender Band – Pretty Pavements
Engineered by: Bruce Bennett
Recorded at: Exocet Productions
Mixed by: Scott Patton and Shalom Aberle
How appropriate that I get a chance to review a compilation of songs from an artist whose songs I have never heard before. No chance for bias here people. According to the liner notes, this record is a compilation of songs written by Stringbender between 1984 and 1988. While her former band, The Three Legged Stools backed the original recordings of these songs; her present band (Scott Slurry, Mike Recycleski, Wes Asphalt and Brad Emulsion) performed the backing tracks for this disk.
In Stringbender’s own words she decided to re-record them as both a “thank-you for all their fans that have been with them throughout the years and as an opportunity for all of our new Sally Stringbender Band fans to hear their musical evolution”.
Now with the preamble out of the way let’s get to the music on “Pretty Pavements.” From the Aretha type delivery of the initial track, through the spine tingling acapella 6th song and the balance of tight arrangements, this Sally Stringbender Band newbie was very impressed.
I am a sucker for the B-3, so the “With Me” song 1 warmed me up to the band instantly. I liked the tight ending in song 2, an acoustic driven piece with persuasive percussion. Stringbender’s sultry voice pours out like maple syrup in “Beautiful Song” making the listener think that this woman has likely won every open mic she ever performed in. I especially liked the little tempo change at 1:45, the “difference between lovin’ and bein’ in love” lyrics and the way the arrangement resolves.
“Good For You” makes me think about Stones classic Heartbreaker, Do, Do, Do, Do, Do, Do with its cool guitars and keys. Was that a fretless bass tracked in the rhythm section?
Song 5 displays Stringbender’s range quite well, but I found it a bit long with no apparent hook. Fortunately, I could look past that as I fell swooned by the interesting chord changes of that wondrously tracked acoustic (Taylor?). BGVs would have been a nice touch on this track as well. “Shade of the Hand of Fear”…I am speechless Jennifer. Kudos’ to you and your vocal coach (unless you are one of those few born with a mic in your cradle).
“Cross-ties” must make an awesome live song with its tight rhythm section and breakdown. “Sometimes” was a bit long but solid while song 9 utilized the borrowed keyboard tones of YES days gone by. “Know”, no hooks but radio length and awesome BGVs. Again, a bit long for this listener on track 11, but good grouping of songs with the 2:55 groove song in the 12 spot. A finger picked acoustic wraps up the disc for this new Sally Stringbender listener who rates this effort at a solid 8/10. Check out the band at their next show if you want to hear some heart wrenching emotional writing delivered by superb musicians.
Please share and enjoy the content, and start saving millions TODAY for your local agency, firm, base, facility or HOA! We don’t have to have crumbling roads and parking lots any longer, will you join us?
Call if you have questions at 404-323-5974 or email
Our warmest thanks to all of those loyal clients who have attended our workshops, purchased our books, DVDs, audio CDs, listened to our podcast, watched our training videos, gone through the IPMA Academy Accredited Pavement Manager Certification Program, and most importantly hired our firm to help them save millions!
Blair Barnhardt, APM
The International Pavement Management Association
Author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller,
‘The Book on Better Roads’
GO FOR IT! #infrastructure