Among the Evergreens EP by Mike Clifford Review
One of the perks of working on a music review website is that you are introduced to great new music by talented new artists. Such is the case with Mike Clifford’s excellent Among the Evergreens EP.
Mike Clifford is a busy man. He’s an elementary school teacher in New York and a member of the country/bluegrass band, The District. Clearly, Mike doesn’t believe in having a moment to spare because on top of all that he also finds time to be a solo artist. Happily, this extra-curricular activity produced this fine Among the Evergreens EP.
Starting us off with the upbeat Hey Hey Darlin’, Among the Evergreens rocks out a little and gives Mike the chance to let rip a little. It reminds us a little of the Black Crowes in their more polished, contemplative moods. No bad thing in our book.
Speaking of all things polished. If the production sounds rather excellent and clear as a bell, maybe that’s because the whole thing was produced by Grammy award-winning recording engineer Ted Young, no less.
Years Go By starts off with some fine guitar picking before the musical backdrop builds to something more substantial. We even get some strings to help the melody along.
Merry Go Round takes Among the Evergreens into a reflective mood with Mike offering up a stylish narrative number. Here, the story-teller recounts how he can still see the beauty in his lost loved one in spite of the passing years. Or maybe because of them. This song demonstrates Mike’s delicate touch and knack for finding a melody.
Waiting for the Flood begins with a bold burst of piano and it is the piano that drives this excellent song along. Perhaps the stand out number on Among the Evergreens, it reminds me of the kind of track as a kid I’d have playing in the background on a Saturday morning while I was supposed to be doing homework.
On a Friday Night summons images of the traveller a long way from home, whether through work or art or both. We’ve all felt that longing to be home and promised those who await us that we won’t be long. For me, it’s usually that Friday night at the pub! But no, I’m being flippant!
Among the Evergreens is brought to a fine end with Say Goodnight and we’re left wanting more. The song demonstrates that Mike Clifford has a fine voice and confident delivery. There are elements of country and soul to the music that’s very easy on the ear.
Mike Clifford’s Among the Evergreens is a polished effort from start to finish from a talented singer songwriter. The material here compliments Mike’s fine voice which has a sincere and affecting quality. The musicianship is great throughout too with Mike equally at home on guitar or piano. Strings are used sparingly to embellish the music at just the right points. A fine effort and Mike Clifford is a name to look out for.
Rated Sound gives Among the Evergreens EP by Mike Clifford a rating of 8/10.
Among the Evergreens EP (2015) by Mike Clifford
1. Hey Hey Darlin’
2. Years Go By
3. Merry Go Round
4. Waiting For The Flood
5. On a Friday Night
6. Say Goodnight