Leo Harmonay is a singer songwriter / blues harmonica player by night, residing north of NYC in the Hudson Valley. He is a high-rise construction manager in NYC by day. Leo sings and writes original folk tinged soulful music filled with poetic imagery. You can see him live, locally in and around the Hudson Valley.
The CD quickly takes to flight with heartfelt intro piece “Colors”. This song serves up infectious acoustic guitar, peaceful musical ambience against Harmony’s mesmerizing baritone, hypnotic percussion, harmonies and driving rock rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of poppy musical indulgence. Track 2 “Dark Sunday Gray” l” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro, catchy vibe and clever lyrical content from Harmony. Track 3 “Currents” is an impressive melancholy piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive organ that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 4 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Counting Crows, I can even hear brief flashes of Dave Mathews Band and Avivil. I would classify this music as classic Singer/Songwriter, Blues and Alternative Folk with a Soulful overtone. The CD at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong artistic perspective. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of sporadic percussion, acoustic, harmonica, rhythm guitar, organ, solo guitar, lush harmonies, keyboards low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies – all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Harmony showcases impressive deep Baritone timbre and impressive songwriting skills throughout. His musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as Harmony is clearly letting it all hang out in a bluesman way with this release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Harmony has an effective baritone and all harmonies are effective and well placed. At times his voice reminds me a bit of Tom Petty. From my personal favorite “We are Two” to thought provoking “Rocks at Your Feet” to soothing “Running Days” to upbeat I Want to Be My Love” heartfelt “This Train” and intoxicating “With You” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “The Dancer” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
I wish there were more solo segments throughout the catalog, especially on solo guitar. More harmonies would mix up the vocal delivery a bit better. I wish there was more instrumentation like Piano, Organ, Keyboards, Saxophone and Electric Piano.
Somewhere over the Hudson” by Leo Harmony” is a compelling musical journey. This DIY composer, producer, musician singer/songwriter is making waves for themselves for a reason. Its strong suit is its amazing producers touch and song for song musical flow. Harmony gets high marks from me for delivering a zany, carefree vibe – nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing singer/songwriter musical experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great bluesy-rock musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you.
Artist/Band: Leo Harmony
Album: Somewhere Over the Hudson
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Singer/Songwritter, Blues, Alternative Folk, Classic Rock.
Sounds Like: Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Counting Crows, Dave Mathews Band, Avivil
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: We are Two. Rocks at Your Feet, With You
Weakness: More Solos, More Instrumentation
~ Cyrus Rhodes