Zyrah's Orange,
(self-produced, 1999;
Sachimay, 2000)

Body is the follow-up to ZO's first full-length CD Mind and is full of the funky, bluesy, jazzy, feel-good-about-life kind of music that just gets you going in the morning. Red light? No problem, I'm listening to some funk! Interstate looks like a parking lot? Not to worry, I'll hit the replay again. And while EmmyLou Harris and Steely Dan are among those credited in the liner notes, I tend to liken this band more to the Spin Doctors or Counting Crows.

Based in Boston, the trio is Elliot Page (guitar, vocals, piano and keyboard), who put the band together in 1995, Ben Thibault (bass, stand-up bass and vocals) and Dan Gullotti (drums, vocals and percussion). Page writes most of the lyrics and music, and Thibault provides the long, blond, "rock star" hair.

The songs are well-written, well-performed and well-placed. The opening tune, "Best Day," showcases the band's three-part harmony. "Messages" is more like an '80s pop/rock tune and is followed by an instrumental, "Message Machine," which is pure funk. While I really like the lyrics and vocals immensely, it's the tight guitar and smooth bass that has me hitting the replay button again and again.

The band plays mostly East Coast clubs and festivals, but has a sound that will do well on the national circuit. They have been well received by deejays and journalists alike, and were invited recently to back up former Grateful Dead keyboardist, Tom Constanten. They are certainly diverse! Not a chance of being bored or skipping to the next song. They should do well no matter where they play.

[ by Sheree Morrow ]
Rambles: 30 June 2001

Buy it from Amazon.com.