January 14, 2010

Week 19 - George Palmer Macias - Firefly

 (This is Week 19 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks. See the first 18 here.

George Palmer Macias

“Funny how most beauty goes unnoticed.” – from “
Who Paints Upon The Wind”

I’d never heard of George Palmer Macias when I this CD arrived a few months back. Then I got busy and it got lost in the shuffle of life. I was looking for a new CD to review for this 52 CD reviews in 52 weeks project and I came across Firefly in a stack of other CDs. I decided to pop it into my player.

I don’t know what I expected to hear, but Macias’ smooth Americana tone was a nice surprise - his voice has a very soothing Roy Orbison feel to it. Much more than this, the lyrics, all penned by Macias (save for 2 sentences in “Ringtail”) are inspired.

The musical journey that is Firefly takes a path down several different musical genres. Songs like “Break This Bottle” and “The Way The River Flows” could have been recorded by Orbison himself. “Don’t Touch The Money” has a Latin Texas Tornados flair to it. “Where in the World” is a Do-Wop Carmen Sandiego treat that tests your geography knowledge. Firefly even has a biographical song about Texas founding father Martin Parmer in “Ringtail.”

Musically, my favorite track on Firefly is “Take This Town.” It’s an up-tempo Los Lobos-meets-Neil Young jam.  Lyrically, “Milky Way” holds top billing for me. “Slow down this planet is spinning to fast. / I reach for the stars but they slip my grasp. / Just some matter, some blood, some clay. / Ball of dust in the cosmic fray. / Spinning around in the Milky Way.”

And to think… I almost didn’t give this one a chance. Make sure you don’t make that mistake. If you’re a fan of the Roy Orbison rock-meets-country sound, you’ll like Firefly.

Although this is his first solo album, Macias was a member of The Regulars, which was a group who played a weekly happy hour slot at The Saxon Pub for about five years.

In fact, The Regulars will be having a reunion happy hour show at The Saxon Pub this Friday (1/15) at 6:30. Macias will be playing a solo show at Botticelli’s (1321 S. Congress) with Bill Starrett next Wednesday (1/20) at 7:30. Both shows are free.

For more information about Macias or to hear a few tracks off Firefly visit his website - http://www.texisscafe.com/artist/georgepalmermacias or check him out on Facebook - www.facebook.com/gpmacias

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