Pics & Reviews
"Beautiful voice . . Accomplished" - Ken & Lynn Haak
"Wow!" Leigh Hill, KUSP
"I love the album" Mike Vara, LNM Radio
FREEDOM TRAIN - a Bluegrass Collection by George McClure
"Listeners will love the magical songs" Bluegrass Unlimited, Bill Conger
"World class" Clif Carrison, #1 Artist
"It's really fine music" Harry Moore, KSMU FM/AM
""Excellent" Bill Lawson, Australia 101.5 FM
"A really good album. . . really well done." Curtis McPeake, Elder Statesman of Bluegrass & Banjos
"Great music!" Gracie Muldoon Davis, Baby Boss Radio
"Fingerpicker and vocalist shines" Kelley Dole, KBUT Community Radio
"Beautiful voice. . . Accomplished" Ken & Lynn Haak, D.C. Music Lovers
"the music cooks!" Jerry Mills DJ
GEORGE McCLURE - FREEDOM TRAIN
Bluegrass Unlimited http://bluegrassmusic.com/content/2018/reviews/george-mcclure/
JIP Records - JIP-5327
George McClure is back on track with Freedom Train, a nine-song collection of some of his favorite bluegrass songs from his road warrior days in the '90s. "As a prolific writer, I have literally hundreds of bluegrass songs and instrumentals," McClure said. "I had some of the more popular songs started, so I decided to finish them up and get them out on the market." All songs are originals except for Jody Gallagher's "Diamonds From The Start." "I dug the light Swing feel and the tongue-in-cheek Western lyrics," says McClure. "I came up in the deep Southwest playing Swing and bluegrass and it's my native language."
McClure (vocals, guitar, and banjo) brought some of his favorite players into the studio for the project, including David Grier (guitar), Butch Robins (banjo), Jon Yudkin (fiddle and mandolin), John Vogt (bass viol), Johnny Bellar (bass viol/vocals), Chris Brown (drums), and Kenny Vaughn (guitar). One of McClure's cleverly-written "Windows Of My Mind" tells of a world traveler reflecting on longtime love Debby Fay. Above all, though, listeners will love the instrumental magical songs such as "Ticklin' The Strings."
Here's hoping to another quick bluegrass follow-up from McClure. (George McClure, P.O. Box 2732, Taos, NM, 87571, www.officialgeorgemcclure.com.) BC
PLAYBOY SWING 2
"The best writer in Nashville"
"Gifted right brained individual" Nashville Music Guide
"We appreciate the artistry" Tara Austin, Equity Records
"Swing he certainly can and does" - Rick Huff in Best Of The West - Western Way Magazine
"A desert original, borderlands writer and showman - In every context you care to take these claims, I assure you this guy does not lie!!" - Rick Huff in Best Of The West - Western Way Magazine
"Big horns and cool vocals" rocknworld.com - Gary Schwind
"One-of-a-kind offering by a unique... individual" Joe Ross, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
"You're going to love it ... Great." Dr. Celestino Fernandez, Univ of Arizona
"Highly recommended... very talented" WVOF-FM & Western Swing Magazine
"Relaxed, good-time vibe... George sings with a warm, affable texture." Joe Ross, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
"A classic" Country Western Corner
"McClure's second album shows just how hot this cow jazz performer is."
"Innovative..." Country Music Round-Up
"I love his Mariachi influences." Nashville Music Guide
"Commands a listener's utmost attention" Celebrity Cafe
CHAMPAGNE SATURDAY (I Made Love To An Alien)
"great! I love the blends" Rambles.net Review
"Warm and twangy songs..." Listen.Lycos.com Review
"...a breath of fresh air..." Review of "Champagne Saturday" in The Advertiser
"...no disputing the musicianship..."
"Intriguing..." Country Music People
"This is genuine Western Swing..."
"A lively project and fine Western Swing." DISC COLLECTOR
George is nominated for Vocalist of the Year Academy of Western Artists
George McClure is contender for GRAMMY AWARD "Artist" nominee (48'th Academies)
McClure's "Can't Drown Your Memory" is #2 on European charts Radio Hilversum
"Alien Love (I Made Love To An Alien)" is download hit on Big Fish Japan
Dish Cable TV and Muzak are spinning "I Made Love To An Alien Last Night" and "America".
George is nominated for Best New Male Artist Golden Music Awards Nashville NAMM
GEORGE McCLURE – Playboy Swingwww.jiprecords.com
Playing Time – 46:13
Review by Celebrity Cafe.comA soft-spoken vocalist with a rustic flair describes George McClure's Playboy Swing. The title track has big band instruments that command a listener's utmost attention, with lyrics like, "Well I'm a playboy playboy on the run. The world is big enough for me and those girls. These girls are waiting for my love, well I became a lover without you." "Mass Grass" is an instrumental track that has percussion and piano play. "Texas Blues" has what sounds like the saxophone and McClure expounding on how he cannot seem to circumvent the lure of the lone star state, with such lyrics as, "I heard a lonely coyote ahowlin' for his mate. I took the blues and packed my shoes and left the lone star state. I thought if I could ride away that I could lose the blues, but I found out that this Texas soil is stickin' to my shoes. I'm headed back, I've got the Texas blues. I don't know why it happens when I open up my mouth some pretty looks and hollers,
Sari N. Kent
Review by Joe Ross – staff writer, Bluegrass Now - Amazon.com - Yahoo.comGeorge McClure’s “Playboy Swing” continues his signature calling to present contemporary western swing music that also incorporates elements of bluegrass, big band, and even bilingual Tex-Mex border music. George’s talents are diverse and varied. Before embarking on a fully professional music career, he studied cognitive anthropology, business, computers, math and more. Obviously, he’s a creative right-brain type of guy who also knows how to handily apply his aptitude and skill to playing, singing and producing music. In his younger days, he’s played Arizona and New Mexico, performed in the pit for live theatre, and picked bluegrass and country with the Salt River Ramblers.
Now, he’s apparently in Nashville and following up on his second successful 1999 album “Champagne Saturday” that included the likes of Bobby Hicks, Judy Lynn, Joey Miskulin, Rick ‘L.D.’ Money, Johnny B. I kind of miss the accordion on “Playboy Swing,” but George has arranged his music with plenty of other instrumentation to personalize his sound. Besides George’s guitar, there are primarily trumpets, saxes, drums, bass, and piano. Sadly, John Heinrich’s pedal steel only appears in William Young’s “Little Miss Santa Clause” from his repertoire recorded in 2006. The bow work of fiddlers Jon Yudkin and Andrea Zonn is essential to this kind of material, and they all rise to the occasion without grandstanding.
The two bonus tracks offer selections recorded in 1992 (“Mass Grass”) and 1998 “Across the Alley from the Alamo”), and they seem to illustrate McClure’s musical evolution from playing banjo in more acoustic arrangements to the added instrumental dimensions he presents today. Stephen George Miler’s “Mass Grass” is an instrumental with a relaxed sophistication that featured David Grier, Mark Howard, and Terry Eldredge. “Across the Alley from the Alamo” is a fun remake of the Bob Wills’ classic, and it has Johnny Bellar’s lap steel, Bobby Hicks’ fiddle, and Mark Schatz’ bass in the mix.
McClure’s newest material has developed more into big band and jazz music. At track 2, an updated 2006 rendition of “Mass Grass” still has George picking banjo, but also has grand piano, violin, bass, drums, sax and electric guitar. The tune takes a completely different ambiance of relaxed, good-time vibe, as does “Mood Time” with its shimmering piano, sax and taste of banjo.
McClure also remakes his own “Champagne Saturday” (with Kathy Chiavola’s background vocals) into a grooving little number for the front-porch swing. In his songs like “Texas Blues” and “Mis Pensamientos,” George sings with warm, affable texture. I guess that’s what he refers to as “romantico” music with tints of Mexican mariachi melodies. Jim Hoke’s wailing trumpets really fill out the score for “Día De Los Muertos (The Matador).” McClure’s music is a little enigmatic at times. For example, why does he begin the album with a 3-minute version of “Playboy Swing,” but revisits the song with a 5-minute version (entitled “Playboy Loop”) at track 12? All in all, this CD’s a one-of-a-kind offering from a unique right-brained individual. It’s rather entertainingly off-beat. Hang loose, and enjoy it.
LINER NOTES by Celestino Fernández, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona, June 17, 2006If you like swing music, you’re going to love this CD! Simplemente, bonita música para bonitos tiempos! What a great mix of instrumentals, bilingual songs, and soothing vocals... and it gets better with every listening. Often throughout the CD, one gets the feeling of being in the live presence of the artist, listening to the music, interacting with him between songs, and dancing the night away.
"Mis Pensamientos" begins in Spanish and switches to English; the listener soon gets the feeling of being in the desert, on either side, of the U.S.-Mexico border. The refrain, "solo tu, solo tu..." (Only you, only you...) is both soft and moving.
My favorite song on the CD is "Día De Los Muertos (The Matador)" (Day of the Dead - The Matador). The title plays on the Día de Los Muertos (All Souls Day - November 2nd) that is celebrated in Mexico and on the theme of bullfighting and specifically on the killing of the bull. This is a beautiful instrumental with a clear and vibrant trumpet that builds, leading the listener to imagine the end of the bullfight when the bull is killed. A bit sad, really.
On the happy side, Champagne Saturday is an upbeat little love swing to relax by on a Saturday afternoon, or on any day of the week for the matter. Slow, smooth, and soothing.
Dr. Celestino Fernandez is a world-class expert on border music and corridos. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Review by Gary Schwindhttp://www.rocknworld.com/features/07/GeorgeMcClure.shtml
The album begins with the title track, which is not only a great title but a great description of the sound of the song. It is definitely a swingin' tune with big horns and cool vocals.
The title track is followed by "Mass Grass," which is a real interesting tune. It includes some definite bluegrass influence with the banjo and guitar. It also features a soprano sax and piano reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi. "Mood Time" is another song that combines elements of country (Bakersfield twang) with jazz so mellow it almost seems more like classical.
"Mis Pensamientos" is a sort of mariachi song in which McClure sings half in Spanish and half in English. It is a very mellow tune but I think the vocals could be bigger on this one to give it more of a feeling of a romantic canción.
"Dia de Los Muertos (The Matador)" is an instrumental tune that very much puts you in mind of a bullfight. It features saxophone, trumpet and traditional flamenco style guitar. This song would be great in a film.
After another cocktail tune ("Champagne Saturday"), McClure includes two poems. I'm not going to criticize his ability as a poet. In fact, I think he's quite a wordsmith. I will say this though, the two spoken-word poems don't really fit with the mood of the rest of the CD. The CD moves along, genre-hopping from jazz and country to Latin sounds, then it comes to these two spoken-word poems. They seem a little out of place.
McClure finishes the CD with reprises of "Playboy Swing," and "Mass Grass" on either side of"Across the Alley." These are good tunes, but I'm not sure why he decided to include each of these two songs twice on the CD.
Overall this is a very solid CD. I like how McClure moves so easily from one sound to another. This album easily appeals to fans of jazz, Latin and people who like a little twang in their music. And I'm not going to lie to you, a few of these tunes will make you feel like you should have a cocktail in your hand. I think the ending of the album could be a little stronger, but "Playboy Swing" is definitely worthwhile.
"The opener is a hot version of "Take Me Back To Tulsa", and "Across The Alley From The Alamo" swings as well. These two, along with "Wahoo!" are my favorites from this album." Rope Burns
GEORGE McCLURE – Champagne Saturday (I Made Love To An Alien Last Night)
JIP Records, JIP 7207-CD
Review from The Advertiser [Sounds Country]
Though we are regularly treated to a little swing thanks to superstars like George Strait, over here in the UK we rarely get to hear real western swing and when we do it is usually reissues of Bob Wills and the other 40's/50's exponents.
McClure therefore is like a breath of fresh air, proving that western swing is very much alive and part of the contemporary scene with 11 hot tracks that include George's originals Alien Love and Champagne Saturday, Bob Wills' standards Take Me Back To Tulsa and Across The Alley From The Alamo, the Gene Autry favourite El Rancho Grande and El Lumino, which is actually Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
A studio full of top pickers, Joey Miskulin, David Grier, Jim Hoke, Bobby Hicks, Mark Howard, Mark Schatz among them, assist.
Star track: "Gone With The Wind". Rating: 8.
Review by Western Swing MonthlyGeorge McClure is a very talented singer, songwriter, guitar player and producer. All of these attributes are apparent on this brand new CD of 11 exciting tunes in the style of Contemporary Western Swing. He also surrounded himself with some very gifted musicians. One of these, is the great Bobby Hicks on fiddle. Bobby was an integral part of one of the earliest of the Contemporary Western Swing bands, that of the legendary Judy Lynn, just about 30 years ago. Also heard among the musicians is Joey Miskulin on accordion, Rick Money on lead guitar and Johnny B. on steel guitar.
The album opens with "Take Me Back To Tulsa" from the pen and songbook of Western Swing icons Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan. Also from the Wills and Duncan book is "Across The Alley From The Alamo" from their Tiffany Transcription collection. This was also a huge hit for the Mills Brothers as well as the Stan Kenton-June Christy team. The album also includes two of George's original compositions and single hits, "Alien Love" and "Champagne Saturday." George also arranged most of the remaining tunes, which includes an incredibly great version of the Merle Haggard hit "Gone With The Wind." The late Ray Whitley recorded Cliff Friend's "Wahoo" back in the thirties as did Milton Brown & his Brownies with "El Rancho Grande." They are now both brought back by George. "Mass Grass" is an instrumental with lots of jazz feel and "Can't Drown Your Memory" is contemporary Western Swing." "El Lumino" gives Johnny Mark's "Rudolph" the south of the border treatment. The album closes with "America" in a country music vein.
This album is highly recommended to all that are fans of Contemporary Western Swing.
Western Swing Monthly - Mike Gross, WVOF-FM, Fairfield, CT
Songs: CHAMPAGNE SATURDAY (ALIEN LOVE)
Rhonda Vincent and George McClure
Live at BB King's - George McClure
Gruene Hall, New Braunfels TX
"He has a way of making every song his own." [Billy Rose]
"a true original" [Britt Savage]
"Impeccable" [George Tutko]
Texas dance hall
George McClure & the Aliens
George McClure Cowboy pic
George McClure Combo
Johnny B (l) , George McClure (r)
George McClure - "PLAYBOY SWING"
"Gifted right brained individual"
Photo title: "Crunch"
(l to r) Harold Bradley, Pres. AFM 257; George McClure
Photo title: "halfbod print"
George live in Nashville
George McClure (r) on tour in Oklahoma
" We put a smile on every face and a glow in every heart "
George McClure & Jimmy Martin the "King of Bluegrass"
(l to r) Former VP BMI Roger Sovine with George McClure.
Collectible guitar picks
FREEDOM TRAIN by George McClure
New Mexico dance hall
Historic Gruene Hall