Birmingham to Amsterdam
by The Exciting Sounds of Savo
Recorded between 1997 and 1999 in Birmingham, MI and Chicago, IL
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The second release from the Exciting Sounds of Savo, this disc continues the playful, upbeat vibe of the first Savo disc (The Early Years) as well as the spontaneous process of creating just about all of the melody, lyrics, and music for each song on the spot (usually after a good night of drinking). It captures the sunny disposition and memories of good friends, good food, a strong economy, and the pleasures of drinking a couple of beers on the front porch during a warm Michigan evening.
The good friends and drink were certainly aplenty in the lead off song “Zoom”. An outstanding lyrical effort, brought on strong in voice by Consortium member Hirk, made this one an instant classic. “Sunshine Day”, “Do It”, and “Visit Detroit” float some mellow pop waves while giving Consortium member Shannon some quality vocal time. Often picked as the sleeper of the disc, Visit Detroit often leaves toe tapping and chorus humming impressions on listeners after a couple of spins.
Underground classic “4AM” was recorded in Chicago, IL late in the evening on New Years Eve. An unanticipated late night visit from Carter’s drunken neighbor starts the ball rolling on this song - which earned a “Rotten Tomato” honors as one of the Worst Of MP3.com
Also made up on the spot was “I Couldn’t Take That Drink, Man”. Kaz dishes out the cooking brandy while Carter recounts, in magnificent detail, the glorious events from a party during the college years. And with that, another classic hit is born.
Following the rocking of “Political Wisdom’, the disc takes a wonderfully heavier feel with “Spoken Word on Ruffner” and “Dream Cruise”. Recorded on the front porch over beers, candles and a warm summer Michigan evening, you can almost feel the warmth oozing from the mic. In the case of Dream Cruise, you can certainly hear the crickets chirping and hot rods peeling out down Woodward in the background as Kaz, Savo and chock come home from that classic car cruise to cut a tune. Way over looked, this song is certainly one of this author’s favorite from Savo or any artist.
The next batch of tunes - “Chinese with C”, “‘Til the End of Time”, “Take your Time”, “The Outlaw Kazio”, and “The Screaming Man” were all cut in one sitting on one 30 minute tape in the four track. Consortium members Kaz and Carter joined chock and Savo (and a lot of beer and wine) in the studio one evening over the holidays of December 1998 and out poured one of the most prolific recording sessions ever known. Carter returned to visit Michigan while he was doing a stint in California. His adventures in CA informed the tone of the songs this evening, culminating in “Take Your Time”, featuring a bittersweet, sparse, and deeply introspective C on vocals accompanied by a lone guitar.
“The Outlaw Kazio”, another dandy that perhaps gets overlooked to often, picks up the tempo and mood prior to handing it off to the more experimental tune - and last tune of a late evening - “The Screaming Man”.
The disc closes out with “Kazio’s Ramblings”, “I Wanna Be”, and “How Psycho Are You”, a trio of songs featuring vocal interplay, and topical discussions, between Kaz and Savo. “I Wanna Be” was the last hit recorded outside on the front porch of the Savo Studios location at 1364 Ruffner St., Birmingham, MI.
All of the songs here were recorded on four track.