San Francisco Bay area singer-songwriter Howard Simon has a backstory that many musicians would find familiar. Having started out playing and writing music as a youngster while living in Cleveland, Howard Simon would find himself being influenced by the many locations that he would call home in only a very short amount of time. Soon, Simon’s life would get in the way and he would focus on many other more pressing things.
It wasn’t until several decades later that Howard Simon was able to focus on his music once again. At that point, he started creating music that was influenced by the likes of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Laura Nyro and others. And in 2014, Howard Simon released his first album entitled The View from this Horizon. Now, a few years later, Simon returns with his newest album entitled Visitors.
Visitors from Howard Simon features a style that incorporates a large amount of Folk-based sound with a little Rock and Roll thrown in. And like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and others, Howard Simon’s songs are very much story oriented, as they seem to create little vignettes that grab the listener’s imagination as they listen to the songs.
The new release from Howard Simon begins with the track “Albion”. In a song that brings to mind the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, the track features a storyline about several friends who make a journey together to meet up out in nature while trying to find their inner selves. The guitar-based track features an easy pace to the folk-rock music that is reminiscent of something from a songwriter like Gordon Lightfoot.
Howard Simon’s new release continues with the track “In Her Name”. Like the previous track, this song is built around Simon’s acoustic guitar and contains a very light feel to the music. However, the music is also built around the piano from Libby McLaren that adds to the light, easy feel of the music. The track is a duet of sorts, as Simon is joined by Loryn Barbeau. The track’s lyrics describe the many sides of a woman who has many different aspects to her personality.
The next track on Visitors from Howard Simon is the song “The Devil Every Day”. While the first two tracks of the release are rather laidback, this track picks up the pace and the energy level as the song contains a good deal of Rock and Roll effect. That Rock and Roll feel comes from the electric guitar from Simon. While the track contains a much harder feel to the music, it still contains a definite Folk influence to the lyrics. The lyrics about the things that happen to each and every person that could have been influenced by the Devil add a bit of spirituality to the track, bringing back a definite Folk influence.
With the next track, Howard Simon brings the music back to a more relaxed feel. “Where You Are” contains a style that combines some Rock and Roll, some Folk and even a Jazz in the feel of the song. Ultimately, the track would have easily fit on radio stations back in the seventies. The track allows Libby McLaren as she is the piano player on the track. Altogether, “Where You Are” contains a strong retro feel to the music but still feels as if it would have been a very strong single a few decades ago.
“Visitors,” the title track of the new release from Howard Simon, is one of the more emotional tracks on the album. Throughout the 3-minute playtime, Simon sings about the many people who come into your life and then leave because of many different circumstances. As you listen to the track, the lyrics will tug at your heartstrings as you remember those who are no longer with you. The easy feel of the music helps to add to the emotional connection that you will no doubt feel when listening to the lyrics.
On the track “Normal Life,” Howard Simon creates another track that incorporates some Jazz influence. But on this track, that Jazz influence is a lot more prevalent. And with the inclusion of the trumpet played by John Worley, “Normal Life” ends up being the track with the most Jazz-like approach. The gentle feel of the music as well as the easy pace of the track itself helps to make a track that would feel right at home on any Smooth Jazz radio formats.
Throughout the fourteen track that make up the Visitors release from Howard Simon, the listener experiences some Jazz, a little Rock and Roll, and a lot of Folk that blend together to create an interesting mix of sounds. The result if an album that is rather laidback in nature but still keep the listener’s interest throughout the entire length of the release.
To check out the music of Howard Simon, listen to his track of “Albion“.
For more information, check out Howard Simon’s PR firm, The RMG Media Group.