Orlando, FL June 20, 2006. For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Lisa Walker
ORLEANS Announces New Studio CD
American band Orleans’ first studio album in 10 years “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” was nationally released in May through California independent label Friday Music. The tracks are also available on iTunes and other popular digital download music sites.
The new album features original Orleans members Lance and Larry Hoppen and John Hall, plus ex-Elton John drummer Charlie Morgan, youngest Hoppen brother Lane and guest appearances by Charlie Dechant (saxophone with Hall & Oates 30 years) and teen mandolin phenom Josh Pinkham. Orleans is donating 10% of sales profits to Red Cross Hurricane Relief to aid New Orleans, the city whose music inspired the band’s name, in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Orleans fans expect great songwriting, vocals and harmonies second to none and world-class musicianship.
This CD delivers on all counts. Larry, Lance and John take turns at lead vocals and are all involved in the writing. John and Larry lay down some first rate electric lead, rhythm and acoustic guitar work, including some of their trademark double leads. The rhythm section of Charlie / Lance is “like riding in a Cadillac”. The lyrics are intelligent, the melodies memorable and the arrangements fresh and varied.
The title track, is a well known song and was a hit in 1973 by the group King Harvest. What most people don’t know is that the very first recording of Dancing in the Moonlight was done by Larry and the song’s sole writer – Sherman Kelly – in a band called Boffalongo in 1969. Further, Sherman Kelly is the brother of Orleans’ deceased original drummer Wells Kelly. King Harvest included both Wells and Sherman, along with some other friends and colleagues of Orleans.
When Orleans first began playing clubs in 1972, the song was an important part of the nightly repertoire, much loved by all audiences. It was long overdue that Orleans release its own version, which is more like the Boffalongo treatment than the King Harvest version, albeit with some ‘islands charm’ added.
The new tracks were recorded at Charlie Morgan’s’ Thynne Man Studio in Altamonte Springs, Florida near where Larry and Lane live. Charlie is the recording engineer as well as the drummer on all those new tracks, recorded on an all-Macintosh system. The band found working at Charlie’s very comfortable, a homey situation with good hospitality and flexible hours. John Marsden of Little Big Sound in Orlando mixed the tracks with the band’s input (largely given over the Internet); the mastering was done by 25-year Motown veteran Bob Ollhson in Nashville, TN. All arrangements and production are by Orleans.
Fans of the band are saying that this new collection is Orleans’ best work since the mid-1970s’ vinyl LPs “Let There Be Music” and “Waking and Dreaming”, which together contained Orleans’ biggest hits. Many are finding the CD’s opening cut “Mission of Mercy” mesmerizing, its groove reminiscent of ”What’s Goin’ On”. Analogies re: other cuts have been made to Steely Dan, James Taylor, Eagles and others.
Songs about life, love, the human condition, relationships, growing older and the occasional social commentary have always been the stock in trade of Orleans. Judge for yourself how this group, almost 35 years into its project, holds up to its own earlier work and that of its peers now.
The Orleans CD “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” is available at www.FridayMusic.com and at most music retailers.