Tony Gee - Bloom Full by Steve Wagner
When you tell some people you’re a singer-songwriter from Texas—the state that produced such remarkable talents as Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams and beyond—it can raise peoples’ expectations of you. Though his style is more pop than the aforementioned artists, with Bloom Full, Tony Gee does his state proud. It’s an album full of solid lyrical ideas, memorable melodies and hooks, and some musical surprises.
Bloom Full is Gee’s third collection and it has a rootsy, familiar feel, built around the old reliable guitars, bass, and drums, plus tasteful use of keyboards, strings, and horns. Its overall sound will appeal to fans of Fountains of Wayne and Fastball—bands with a sound that is sadly missing from the current musical landscape—and its baked-in rock ‘n roll roots will appeal to classic rock fans as well.
The rock-out-knock-out opener, “Light Heavyweight,” shows Gee’s skill with both analogy (no, it’s not about a prizefighter) and character study. At just under three minutes, it’s a tough and tender American rock ‘n roller that ends way before you want it to.
“Miss You Like Crazy” is an Americana-sounding let’s-make-up song about writing a let’s-make-up song (it’s way better than that sounds). If this song ended up on the soundtrack of a hit romantic comedy, one could rest assured that some things are indeed right with this world.
“Just About to Know Her” has an undeniable early Kinks vibe (more Village Green Preservation Society than “You Really Got Me”), helped along by its chimey guitars, pulsing Mellotron, and addictive sing-along chorus.
Just when you think Gee is the broken-hearted type, specializing in yearning love songs, he hits the chorus of the almost-smooth-R&B of “Without You,” delivering an unexpected twist on the title and a surprisingly satisfying kiss-off to the “You” in question. It’s not as bitter as some of Dylan skewerings (e.g. “Positively 4th Street”) but is nearly Dylanesque in its resolve.
He veers entirely away from romantic love in “Everything Golden,” which consists of a single verse and chorus—oh, but what a verse and chorus—about something so true and common to each of us that you don’t want for further verses. Sometimes it’s just that simple and perfect. Gee was wise to leave it as-is.
Gee delivers his tunes with a clear, strong voice that hints of Peter Frampton, Cat Stevens, and even a little Elvis Costello but with a strong, smooth (and, at times, funky) falsetto all his own.
Bloom Full is permeated by a sense of the discoveries of early adulthood—that time when you’ve left behind the youthful angst and begun to get your bearings in the wider world. You look back and realize you’ve survived fear and pain (“Someday”); you don’t have to follow in anyone’s footsteps (the convincingly bluesy “The Family Seal”); and you become sensitive to the struggles of others (“Someone to Lift Her Back Up”).
As with his second album, It’s Time, Gee brought Bloom Full to full bloom with the help of Austin-based producer Ron Flynt (of 70s new-wave power pop legends 20/20). He’s also aided by a cast of Austin’s finest players, including guitarist Whit Williams (Cotton Mather), drummer Ray Rodriguez (The Mystiqueros), guitarist Matt Giles (The Drakes), vocalists Tina Mitchell Wilkins and Zac Wilkerson, and Flugelhorn player Sam Howden.
Tony Gee - Light Heavyweight by The Music Butcher
Tony Gee is an Oklahoma City born independent recording artist, singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer living in Spring, TX. He has utilized his skills and modern technology to produce music from his home studio, collaborating with the best talents in the area to release high quality, self-funded, 100% independent records. Tony released his first album “Golden Spotted Midnight Sky” in December 2014 and his second album, “It’s Time”, in October of 2016. Tony Gee has wrapped up production on his third album “Bloom Full” set for an August 15th, 2018 release. Tony teamed up again with Ron Flynt (20/20) at Jumping Dog Studio in Austin, TX. They were joined by musicians Whit Williams (Cotton Mather), Ray Rodriguez (The Mystiqueros), Matt Giles (The Drakes), Tina Mitchell Wilkins, Zac Wilkerson, & Sam Howden. The opening song on “Bloom Full” is an upbeat track titled “Light Heavyweight”.
“Light Heavyweight” begins with a thick organ sound revving up before an acoustic guitar sets the tempo. The full band kicks in with a gigantic sound that’s booming with melodic pop sensibilities. The verses tighten up and settle into a steady and mellow rhythm, the guitars and pianos working together to flow through dramatic and emotive chord changes. The lead vocals have a unique and personal delivery of the lyrics, stretching from low to high notes and infusing the lyrics with honesty and soul. The chorus has a soothing feeling; the main vocals are softly backed up with beautiful harmonies and the guitars kick up the tempo with rocking and jubilant chords. The song has the vibe of a retrospective anthem. The lyrical writing shows thoughtful wisdom and has tons of heart behind it, and the message is put across in a calmly confident fashion. The music behind the words keeps a fun and bouncy attitude that lifts your spirits with an optimistic flavor. The song finishes off in a big way with ripping guitar leads reminiscent of classic rock and roll turned up a notch with explosively aggressive energy. You can listen to “Light Heavyweight” on our Prime Cuts Playlist on Spotify and Youtube and follow Tony Gee on the links below. Please continue to support artists like Tony and share this music with everyone you know.