|Jesse Harms The Best Of What I've Got||Indie|
Jesse Harms is another name that may not be a household name, yet he has contributed so much to the rock scene over the years.|
This is his first solo record after more than twenty years making other people look good. Best known as Sammy Hagar's keyboardist and songwriting partner, Jesse has also written classics for Heart, Eddie Money, Freddy Curci, BB Steal and REO Speedwagon – to name a few.
The Best Of What I've Got is an amply titled album. Featured here are several new songs alongside Jesse's own versions of some of the tunes recorded by other artists.
The album was recorded throughout 2004 and features the multi-talented Harms on lead vocals, keyboards and percussion. Joining Jesse on the album is some other well known names. Drums are performed by "the mighty" Ron Wikso (Greg Rollie, Cher, The Storm, David Lee Roth, Foreigner); Guitars are by Vic Johnson (Hagar), Dave Amato (Speedwagon) and several others and Bass is performed by Ricky Phillips (Babys, Bad English, Styx) and John Paul McClean.
Jesse's solo style is a mixture of classic AOR with a more stripped back Midwestern feel – the album contains an earthy, organic rock n roll feel. All of these influences are featured on the album – as it rolls through some varied material, all recorded with the vibe way to insure a cohesive sounding and easily flowing album.
Kicking off the album is the breezy, laid back Down On The Beach, which could easily have found itself on a Hagar album, had the singer had the good sense to ensure Jesse stayed with his band.
Things've Changed and Both Sides are both Jesse versions of tracks included on Hagar solo records. Both tracks feel natural and at ease in this surrounding and have a real charm to them.
Hold It And Cadillac Ranch are the most stripped back and organic tracks, with a country/southern rock edge that showcases Jesse's diverse writing abilities.
Walk On Water (recorded by Eddie Money), All I Want Is You (recorded by Alias' Freddy Curci) and Make Me A Believer are all great examples of Jesse at his melodic rock/AOR best.
And Chasing Down The Wind is a particularly great ballad co-written with John Waite and Charlie Midnight. There exists an original version with Waite on vocals, but he blocked the use of it when Jesse proposed it be included on my first MelodicRock compilation CD. Jesse's lead vocals fit the song perfectly and it rates as one of the best tracks of the album.
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