Write up of CAROLINE BLUE by Mike Jaquays for Open Mike-The Mid York Weekly & Pennysaver-1/19/2006-Oneida, NY
Fans of the hard rocking hair bands of the 1980s can recall the glory days of the genre with the new CD Slave to the Hourglass from CAROLINE BLUE, a collection of melodic and catchy rock songs that span the musical career of band leader and lead vocalist / guitarist Wayne W. Johnson.
Featuring five of their favorite rockers, plus an instrumental bonus track and still another hidden track that proves it’s not easy being a rocker, the disc burns with a musical energy all too often lost these days. Johnson and crew-and he’s teamed with a multitude of musician friends for this disc-deliver a sound that captures the force of their live show, a true credit to the recording techniques available to the independent artist. Although the members of CAROLINE BLUE might disagree, from a rock music fan’s perspective, Slave to the Hourglass proves our local bands don’t need that coveted big national recording contract…this disc sounds as professional as anything on the shelves of your local music dealer.
We’ll let Johnson, the veteran of area favorites like Front Row, Smokin’ Worm and Four Large Men, himself take the hot seat and tell you about the songs, an offering that is a veritable greatest hits package of music from different bands he’s played with over the years.
“The songs originated in other bands that I was in that I brought with me when I started CAROLINE BLUE,” he explained. “Slave to the Hourglass” is about working a job that you hate. “The Queen of Pleasure” is about a pron star that, unfortunately, we don’t know; “Hard Life” is the story of a girl named Judy who has taken the wrong turn in life and pays a price. “Mine, Mine, Mine” is about trying to forget about someone you were with and trying to move on. “Too Late” is about moving on as well, but from a different angle. The other person screwed up and now you’re moving on and it’s “Too Late” for love.”
All songs are written or co-written by Johnson.
Rounding out the current lineup of CAROLINE BLUE are Azriel Mordecai on bass and “Metal” J. Morey on drums and backing vocals. Johnson said the original format of the band when CAROLINE BLUE was created in 2000 was for himself to serve as its only permanent member, while his cohorts were a revolving lineup of “hired guns.” Since then, however, he’s decided it’s better to keep a permanent membership-or at least as permanent as any area band can expect to be.
“I stopped doing that in 2003 cause the results were haphazard at times. Since then, we’ve had permanent members in the band-well, permanent that is until they left,” he said with a laugh. “Things are still moving forward, though. Every years sees the band reaching new levels. The band is currently doing well. Everyone has a say in everything that involves them. I do, however, have the final say and you do need someone like that in a band. Someone who keeps things on course, so to speak. The best analogy I have is, let’s say you have four guys and they get into a car. Each person has a seat and a say where to go. But there’s only one steering wheel–and, in CAROLINE BLUE, the person behind the wheel is me. If you had four steering wheels , you don’t go very far, and yes, I’ve been in bands that have had that in effect so I’ve experienced it. It’s nice, but it doesn’t work very well.
Johnson said the trio plans to go into the studio in the coming months to record a full-length CD of their newer material, including songs just added to their live show over the last year plus some that have never been played live. They also continue to release videos for their music with UVTV-Underground Video Television-and those videos can be seen on the Syracuse area public access cable show, or over the internet on the UVTV website at http://uvtv.info/ or on the CAROLINE BLUE website. Johnson said they have released four different live videos over the past year, and expect another pair from the Slave to the Hourglass CD. Then they’ll get to work on new videos of their new material, as time and money permit, he said.
The disc is available through their website at http://carolineblue.com/ or by visiting CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/CarolineBlue It’s also available at some of the finer music stores in the area, including A&J Music in Oswego, Ultimate Music Center in Cortland, C&G Music in Baldwinsville, Music Go Round in Dewitt, and The Sound Garden in Syracuse. Tell ’em Open Mike sent you!
To get your own entertainment news in the Open Mike spotlight, drop a line to 104 W. Hamilton Ave., Sherill, NY 13461; email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315-366-0564