Well Mick Sterling is a new name to me, so it was going into unknown territory when I put this CD in the player. I understand that this is Mick Sterling's fourth album, so where has he been hiding! Mick hails from Minneapolis and is based in the Twin Cities, playing locally to great acclaim.
The album starts with a nice horn & piano intro., led by a Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns) arrangement, Mick comes in with a great blue eyed soulful voice on "Why Wouldn't I Fall In Love With You." From the onset you can't help but notice the silky production of Dennis Walker, Dennis of course produced the early Robert Cray albums. Mick Sterling has managed to get himself a good band behind him which shines through on a Rolling Stones influenced track "Honey Honey." The album seems to have a few different influences as in "Someone's Waiting For Me At Home," where Mick sounds remarkably like Bruce Springsteen, this is my favorite track from the album. Though these couple of tracks are a red herring as Mick certainly can pull off a great Ballad in his own style, as in "I Ain't Never Felt No Blues (like this before)," which also boasts another great horn arrangement from Wayne Jackson.
But the quality of the album is in Mick's soulful voice which shines through like a master on "Somebody's Crying" with some nice Hammond organ by Mark Lickteig and piano playing of Donnie LaMarca. "Will You Remember My Name" is packed full of emotion from Mick's voice and there is some nice guitar playing from Stephen Morgan and I have to mention the rock solid bass of Billy Franze. Most of the songs are written by Mick or the band and that's another strength to the album, there are some good songs as demonstrated with the track "Soul Of A Woman" written by Mick and Kevin Bowe.
The album for me was a nice surprise and although I'm very weary of a "white face" singing soul, Mick Sterling soon puts you at your ease with an emotional soul packed blue eyed soulful voice. Great production, quality playing and some good songs make this album one to seek out.
E-mail Mick at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This review is copyright © 1999 by Dave Thomas, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.