John Sonntag,
Chasing Stars
(Thunder Pumpkin, 2006)

This singer-songwriter has filled Chasing Stars with romantic, thoughtful and heartfelt songs that sound like letters home.

John Sonntag was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. His experiences have culminated in this, his second CD. His musical talents include vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, piano, songwriting and production.

John's gentle tenor voice is just right for the songs he writes, as it was for the other two he chose to sing on this album, which were "One Whole Day" by Rich Grula and "Four Blocks Over" by Don Brady. Collaborations with Grula on "North" and "Full Moon in the Eyes," as well as with Bob Harris on "Chasing Stars," rounds out the list and keeps the tempo consistent.

Song themes and the lyrics appear effortless in his clear, tranquil voice. There were a few times I felt the music overshadowed him. Though the drums worked great in other featured cuts such as "Waitin' on Time," they were a little too hard in "I'm on the East Side." Or it was a good choice for a drum feature, I'm not sure.

This easy listening music could find a place in your car's CD holder, something to enjoy while the wheels are turning and the pavement is rushing up to meet you. Something about the songs brings to mind old-time truck-driving ballads and waltzing, times of peacefulness, times of mellow-persuasion. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I won't deny Sonntag's beautiful, wistfulness and top-notch musicality.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Virginia MacIsaac

13 December 2008

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