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Summer Rain by Tony O'Connor

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Summer Rain
A very gentle and romantic album of gentle piano and acoustic guitar - set to a distant background of rain on a Summer's night.

Paul Clement and I had been performing together for over twenty years, and it was great to finally produce an album together. It is a very freeform recording, with raindrops throughout the background, and creates a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere.

Many masseurs and natrual therapists use Summer Rain and I think it's a great bedtime album.

1. Castle of Dreams
2. Follow You
3. Dreams
4. Hello Old Friend
5. Dew
6. Heart Storm
7. Melody
8. Fairy Tale
9. Raindancing

Review by Bill Binkelman (this review was originally published in Wind and Wire, the magazine)

Like a refreshing shower in June, listening to this great assortment of songs (played mostly on acoustic piano and acoustic guitar, with some keyboards and EWI used discretely) is almost cleansing in its peacefulness and warmth. With its subtle environmental sounds (of rain and water, of course), Summer Rain is as good a recording of this type as I have heard in a very long while. In fact, despite this being nothing like Kevin Kendle's work from a musical standpoint, this recording affects me the same way - I feel my cares start to melt and I just relax into my own thoughts. When I listened to this one afternoon in our sunroom, I almost gave up listening to the rest of the review CDs I had set aside. I just wanted to stay in this wonderful mood I found myself in.

The first song, "Castle of Dreams" features lovely piano and guitar each taking turns, sometimes alone, sometimes together, with a gently rolling refrain. "Follow You" starts off with wind chimes, the sound of rain falling and some animal noises, all very well done, too. Tony (the keyboard player of the two, Paul is the guitarist) then enters with a softly-played piano melody. The music is not syrupy in the least, probably owing both to the composition and Tony's obvious sincerity in his playing. Synth strings are used to add a touch of wistfulness to the song and, while strings can easily be overdone, I think that Tony does an excellent job in keeping things just on the edge of melodrama.

Whether the songs feature just Paul on guitar, Tony on piano, or both of them, Summer Rain is a delight for people who like peaceful and warm music. Unless you need an abundance of electronics in your music to help you relax, I think this one is a keeper. Between the piano and electric oboe of "Hello Old Friend," which is bittersweet and touching, or the album closer, "Raindancing," with guitar, electric oboe, and synths, the musicianship is without fault.

Playing this CD, I felt like a good friend had settled in the chair next to me and his presence brought much warmth to the room. If you have any romanticism in you, I think you will like this one a lot.


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