Corky Wink of Jacksonville, Florida recently completed Until I Make It Home, which he calls “12 songs about life, love & hope.” Wink plays acoustic guitar and sings in a pleasing, classically weathered voice similar to Richie Havens with a side of Neil Diamond. Wink recorded at the Eclipse Recording Studios in St. Augustine, Florida with a large group of players including: Uller Bailey, Pat Sheridan and Scott Goldberg (electric guitars), Jim Stafford and Rusty Springfield (bass), Alex Richardson (keys), Jack Miller, Ernie Crews and Woody Pernell (drums/percussion), Betsy Federman (cello), and Linda Cole and Angie Bailey (backing vocals).
Wink’s Bandcamp page tags his music as “rock / blues / jazz / pop.” These songs all have that pop-rock sheen of the more mainstream groups of the ’70s and ’80s; I kept thinking of similar-sounding bands and finally gave up. There’s nary a loser track in the bunch, so I’ll discuss my favorites.
“Choices” starts the album with what sounds like a guaranteed hit with all of Wink’s elements hitting in all the right spots. Heartfelt vocals, lush acoustics and carefully arranged fuzz guitars make up this package, including some Allman’s style harmony leads.
“Intro To Chance” provides a Lindsay Buckingham style all-guitar introduction to “Chance” and gives us a couple really nice minutes to bask in the folky guitar interplay. “Chance” does indeed continue the chords and themes from the intro, introducing a funky bassline and beat. The subject of the song appears to be Wink’s desire to get the world to hear his music; I usually find these kinds of songs precious, but this one has an irresistible groove and hooks aplenty.
Again, the ’70s influence is quite strong. “Simple Dream” slows down a bit for a minor-key love song with a spooky, cello-tinged wall of sound. The title is apt, as the simplicity of the lyrics and music supports the sentiments perfectly. “My dream is simple, my love is true / My world is everything with you.”
“You’re Mine & I’m Yours” brings us a smooth jazz interlude with guitars that channel Wes Montgomery and sweet, lower-pitched vocals by Wink. This song actually feels like a classic that everybody somehow forgot. It’s a stretch to mention Barry White, but I can easily imagine this song inspiring similar bouts of randy behavior. “Strange” has vocals that recall the low-pitch singing by Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies. “Please Leave Me Alone” is a surprising gospel tune where Linda Cole’s backing vocals really shine, along with a hot, uncredited rockabilly guitar solo.
“Breaking the Pride” is yet another smart rocker with a Leo Kottke-like intro, rugged vocals and a cool lead break; it’s starting to feel like Wink can do these in his sleep. “Give It Time” has the swampy allure of “Spill The Wine” by Eric Burdon and War. “Forever In My Heart” is a ballad about the loss of a loved one with all the heartbreak you’d expect, though before reading the lyrics I first heard this as a straight love song. “Don’t Stop Dreaming” concludes the album with acoustic piano leading the way into a gentle, hushed, choir-like benediction.
In conclusion, Wink has presented us with a bunch of great songs played and recorded quite well, with a Master of Ceremonies who’s fun and inspiring to hang out with. I recommend this album wholeheartedly.
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