January 15th, 2008
CD Review: A Parrot Head Favorite: Mile Marker 24
Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24: CD Review
A Parrot Head Favorite: Mile Marker 24 Meet Me in the Keys, the second album by Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24, has a much stronger Keys inspired influence. This CD was also recorded by sixteen ton studios and released in 2006. Alan Stenger, Howard's son, joined him in the studio for this recording. The single, Where Bananas Grow, is getting a lot of air time locally for good reason. Be careful though, this is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head for weeks. Where the Heck is Kokomo, cracks me up. If you don't like it you have never been in the Keys or listened to the Beach Boys. Again, there are no skippers on this CD. The sequence of this CD has a flow from upbeat tropical to totally laid back country with the instrumental, Banana Song, at the end that makes a creative statement. While the individual songs are great, this is an album to be savored in a single straight through session.
Blame it on the Margaritas, was released in 2007. Also recorded at sixteen ton studios, Jason (North) Miller joined in the recording this time. This is a solid CD, but after Meet Me in the Keys it was a little bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, it is a good CD. The title song, Blame it on the Margaritas and other singles Local on the Eights, Know Your Limitation and Boondocks are very solid songs. The flow of this CD was not as natural compared to that their second album. If I had not had Meet Me in the Keys to compare it to, I may not have had that to say. Then it could be because the Banana Song was still in my head.
If you only could buy one CD, Meet Me in the Keys is the one followed by Livin' on Key West Time and Blame it on the Margaritas.
Howard and the band are working on a new CD/DVD with live recordings and video. Sound studios can make just about anyone sound good. The best way to evaluate the talent of a musician is in person. Howard Livingston passes that test in flying colors. Be looking out for the new CD/DVD. Better yet come down to Boondocks, Sugarloaf KOA, Schooner Wharf Bar or local Florida Keys events to see Mile Marker 24 in person. If you are stuck in the frozen North, check out the band in Great Falls, Montana; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Antioch or Bean Blossom, Illinois. For the band's full schedule check out Mile Marker 24 on Myspace.
When the CBS Early Show starts calling you up for spots should they happen to be in the neighborhood, you are doing something right. Howard Livingston is on the right track. Living the good life with a permanent smile on his face, as he should. He has the second best job in the world. Mine, the fishing one, is the first.
To get a sample of Mile Marker 24 visit MileMarker24.com or myspace.com/milemarker24 for a free taste.
This article was published for nonpayment.