Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Fairest and Best “When I Feel Like This”

Robert Graham is a Canadian singer-songwriter who makes his home up in Ontario. Having spent time as a solo act, he took his music and created one album with the title of Storm in a Teacup. With the release being a solo venture, he needed a complete ensemble to bring his music to life on stage. Soon, the band called The Fairest and Best came to be.

The Fairest and Best is a band that consists of: Robert Graham (lead vocals and keyboard), Nigel Maynard (drums), Darryl Wood (bass guitar and vocals), Gerry Williams (bass and vocals), Brant Garratt (guitar and vocals) and Caitlin Holland (vocals). The ensemble takes several different genres of music and blends it together to create their ever-changing style. Together, the sextet not only performs the ten tracks that make up the 2009 release, they also perform songs that appear on their own EP that is entitled When I Feel like This.

Robert Graham and the rest of The Fairest and Best begin their 2015 release of with the title track of the EP. Of the three tracks that make up the When I Feel like This release, this song is the one that is the most unusual of those on the EP as the band takes the track in a direction that combines equal parts Reggae and Rock and Roll. The lyrics find the singer in a rather nostalgic mood as he thinks about what he once had and no matter where he turns, he is always reminded about days gone by. The Reggae/Latin combination made by the members of the band on the song “When I Feel like This” creates a track that feels as if Carlos Santana had taken his 1999 release of Supernatural one track further.   

The piano from Robert Graham begins the next track on the album. The piano-led music for the song “One Little Sign” sets itself apart from the previous track as the band brings their sound more into something that combines elements of Billy Joel and Elton John while combining a very strong presence from the electric guitar. The resulting feel of this song feels more like pop-rock than the previous song did. In fact, the music of the track feels as if it could have been right at home on Top 40/Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats back in the eighties. “One Little Sign’s” lyrics seem to continue the same mindset from “When I Feel Like This” as Robert Graham sings of wanting just one sign that shows him that everything will be alright. On the track, Graham is joined by singer Caitlin Holland who adds the female vocals to the duet. And just as Graham does, Holland sings wishful lyrics about regaining what was once lost in the relationship.

When I Feel like This from The Fairest and Best comes to a close with the track “I Won’t Cry for You”. Just like “One Little Sign” feels very different from “When I Feel like This,” “I Won’t Cry for You” has a very different feel than “One Little Sign”. In fact, with this track, Graham and the rest of The Fairest and Best take their music in a direction that is very reminiscent of the pop-rock music that was found on the radio back in the nineties. The electric guitar-led track brings to mind the style of bands like Gin Blossoms and/or The Goo Goo Dolls. While all three of the tracks on the When I Feel like This release have very commercial sounds to them, it is the track of “When I Cry for You” that would easily by the best bet for radio airplay.

While the 2015 release When I Feel like This contains only three tracks, Robert Graham and The Fairest and Best are currently promoting a new single called “Celebrity”. With this track, the band seems to combine several different musical feelings all at once. The largest influence to the song’s music seems to be the more upbeat and harder-edged pop-rock music that was created back in the seventies. Add to that just a little pop-rock flavor from the eighties and a generous dose of influence from Carlos Santana in the form of the electric guitar that is present in the track and you have some idea of what the track sounds like. “Celebrity” features the lyrics sung by Caitlin Holland who steps out from behind the microphone to provide the vocals for this track. Altogether, the track “Celebrity” is one of the more upbeat tracks currently available from The Fairest and Best.

Robert Graham and his band The Fairest and Best allow their musical influences to shine on their 2015 album entitled When I Feel like This. The short but entertaining three-song EP gives the listener plenty of variety in that short timespan. And the band’s newest track of “Celebrity” proves that they still have plenty to prove yet!

The Fairest and Best is currently promoting their latest single called “Celebrity”. Check it out below:


The Shadows know and, thanks to Gary Pig Gold, now you can too

For those still old enough to peg the launch of British rock to the evening of February 9, 1964, when four young Liverpudlians appeared, as if from nowhere, on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show, think of this: last year a different U.K. band celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a series of sold-out concerts at London’s mammoth O2 Arena. At the height of their success, this band placed an astounding twenty-eight hits atop the British charts, have released over one hundred albums worldwide and their lead singer was knighted by the Queen before Elton John, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger or even Paul McCartney. That singer’s name? Cliff Richard. His band? The Shadows.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s grand new release, Cliff And The Shadows: The Final Reunion DVD, documents the band’s landmark 2009 O2 Arena performances and constitutes the perfect two-hour primer of and for pre-Beatles British rock. Accordingly, barely a minute into the proceedings and legendary Shadows guitarist Hank B. Marvin claims Cliff’s 1959 chart-topper “Living Doll” as, and I shall quote,”The first real British rock and roll record.” That classic is duly performed herein, along with forty-one! other songs and it’s all in just under 137 minutes. Every song comes fast and furious, short and sweet, and at a near assembly-line pace. All the excitement is captured in sight and especially in sound, which is clean, bright and sharp from the very beginning until the final encore.