Having mastered, over the course of a 20 year career,the glistening
Beatles-inflected power pop on "Play With Your Head" and the
seventies super group studio albums on "Hang On Mike", the Candy
Butchers' Mike Viola has forsaken the Technicolor fire of his studiorecording
for the warmth and intimacy of the live solo acoustic gig with his latest
self-released gem "JUST BEFORE DARK".
Featuring nine brand-new songs recorded on a quiet summer evening at the
Largo club in Los Angeles, "Just Before Dark" reveals for the first
time what Viola's fans have known and cherished for years - the depth and power
of his one-man show, armed only with an acoustic guitar, a piano, and his
Eager to follow up on the success of 2004's "Hang On Mike", Viola
had entered the studio in early 2005 to lay down tracks on the material that
would become "Just Before Dark", but soon found his vision of the
"We started recording and it sounded warm and punchy like I like it but
something was missing, that spontaneous thing you get when you sing in front of
a live audience," says Viola, who recently took control of his own career
after spending years on major labels, creating Good Morning Monkey Records
specifically to release "Just Before Dark".
"It felt like the right time in my career to give a live record a shot.
And while I'm at it, why not do a limited run on vinyl!"
Recorded by David Boucher (Ron Sexsmith, Randy Newman) on the second of a
two-night stint at LA's Largo club, where people stand in long lines to see the
likes of Ryan Adams, Aimee Mann and Beck perform the kind of small-venue shows
that rock 'n roll legends are made of, "Just Before Dark" finds Viola
stripping his ornate pop sensibilities down to bare bones and letting the songs
speak for themselves.
A further boon for listeners is a guest appearance by
Inara George, whose impeccable harmonies provide the perfect sparkling
counterpoint to Viola's plaintive balladry.