CD Review: Eric Margan And The Red Lions “Midnight Book”

Midnight Book from Eric Margan and The Red Lions is one of the those albums that needs to be listened to while wearing headphones and just letting the music swallow you whole. Eric Margan combines the core of a rock band with strings, woodwinds and brass players. In today’s musical world, this combination is rare to find, especially in a rock band.

The music created by the band is part rock, part jazz, and part blues, part classical. The band refers to this style as “indie-chamber rock music”. Depending on which song you are listening to by the band, you get a different feel and a different take on the music. A simple way to describe the band’s sound is to take Blood, Sweat & Tears and combine them with Harry Connick Jr.

Midnight Book, the album from Eric Margan, starts with the song “An Ocean Blue”. The piano-driven song comes complete with orchestration created by the many musicians that helped to make the album sound great. The song brings to mind the sound and style of none other than Harry Connick, Jr.

“Bay of Naples,” the second song on the album from Eric Margan & The Red Lions, is a simple enough tune that features piano, guitar, ands a few strings. The simple arrangement of the instrumentation gives the song a very easy pace and is very easy on the ears.

“You Are A Ghost,” the next song on the album, is part blues/part jazz. And with the strings that accompany the song, the listener really feels like you’re sitting there with the writer as he composes his letter to his dream girl.

An unusual situation takes place on Midnight Book: Eric Margan seems to take the opportunity to write a mini rock opera on the album as several of the songs on the release fit together, describing the disintegration of a relationship into a murder (maybe two?). “A Speckled Mind,” “Disintegrate,” “Old Man River” (no, not that song), and “Down The River” all fit together to tell a story.

One thing that is more than evident when listening to the album is the writing: When writers from the sixties were known for their visual qualities when writing the lyrics of their songs, meaning that their lyrics sounded more like poetry than words to rock songs, that quality has seemingly been lost with the writers of music since that decade of music. However, Eric Margan seems to be able to capture that poetic feeling with his writing. The musician/writer uses very descriptive words in his lyrics to make the listener feel like they can actually experience the sights and sounds of the worlds written about in Margan’s songs.

While Midnight Book could not have been created without the help of many talented musicians, the main people who made the album possible were multi-talented singer/songwriter Eric Margan, Rick Spataro, Scott Kellerhouse, and James Bertini. These four musicians created the base for the music that The Red Lions created on the album.

The indie-chamber rock music created by Eric Margan & The Red Lions is well-represented on the band’s release of Midnight Book. And while few people create rock music that features strings and brass instruments, Margan and the rest of the band have created just that kind of music……and with great results.

With the band’s new material already in the planning stages and Midnight Book being as strong as it is, the future is bright for this band of talented musicians.

To find Eric Margan & The Red Lions, go to www.myspace.com/theredlions.

To purchase a copy of the band’s album, click on the album cover below: