Artist: The Livesays
Album: Hold On... Life Is Calling
Label: Echo XS
Release Date: 10/03/2016
Based in South Florida, The Livesays’ individual members have worked along side several notables over the course of their careers — Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren and the late Clarence Clemons, to name but a few — but South Florida, being what it is, has forced the band to rely on replaying covers so as to ensure the Livesays’ livelihood. That belies their talent and proficiency as the skilled band they are, which makes any new release of original material something to celebrate.
The band’s namesake, vocalist guitarist, pianist Billy Livesay, is responsible for penning all the songs on this — their third album — and while that sweeping style tends to emulate the sound that album radio tended to favor in the ‘80s and ‘90s, his heartfelt expression on tracks like “I’m Coming Home,” “Angels of the New Millennium,” and the album’s most beautiful ballad, “Call On Me,” indicates a soulful connection that’s ably articulated throughout. Inevitably, it makes the album’s title ring true and suggests that Livesay and company — keyboard player Victor Berrios, bassist Jorge Laplume and drummer Eddie Zyne — have plenty more life lessons to offer in the future.
In the meantime, Hold On… Life Is Calling exudes the talent and ambition necessary to elevate the Livesays into the upper strata of current contenders. Indeed, in addition to life, fame may be calling as well.
– Lee Zimmerman