Tom Ciurczak is a musician who says he got bitten by the music bug when he was a kid watching the Beatles then they first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964. Although music wasn’t his sole profession it seems to be a constant in his life and I’m sure one reason he decided to create his album Call Me Ishmael.
His music is very influenced by American music. In particular Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Steve Earle are artists that people mention when listening to his music. I have to say I agree and sometimes the Springsteen influence felt too noticeable to me.
I was listening to the first song “Guys Like Me” and I could hear multiple influences on this song. For example on the verse his affectation when he sings sounds like classic Bruce Springsteen but when the chorus he changes his voice and it sounds noticeably different.
The songs generally have a classic ’60s and ’70s rock feel. My theory that musicians later in life end up making what they loved as teenagers and in their early 20’s seems once again proven to my ears. I never got the feeling Ciurczak was trying to update his sound to a more contemporary 2020 type of quality. These songs and the recordings as well seem to be a tip of the hat to a specific splice of American rock.
There weren’t any surprises when I was listening to the songs. Everything felt fairly straightforward but there were some highlights. I really loved the upbeat ballad “Mine Torne Road” as well as the female vocalist on “Strung Out.” The fun summer jam “Sunny Came Back” is a great song and I also enjoyed the playful “Winter Highland Falls.”
The songwriting for that matter was consistently good and there was a good amount of variety. Ciurczak wears his influence on his sleeve but there is plenty of it to be had making for an eclectic album that I think a lot of people will appreciate. I was definitely one of them and you might be too. Take a listen.
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