Generally we would expect to come up with around 250 words or so to review a CD and sometimes that just isn’t enough, but on the other hand, sometimes you just can’t find enough to say about a particular CD, and that is the case here.
Don’t get me wrong I actually like this CD, which seems to be a tribute that Harold’s Dad. Ten tracks all self-penned with Harold playing all the instruments himself except for drums, and bass on track 4 “Red Stag”. There nothing complicated about any of the songs, no fancy drawn out solos, no filling, and just good honest working man’s music.
Dave Stone- Blues Matters
HAROLD MIKE SIZEMORE That Old Man ‘n’ Me independent HAROLD MIKE SIZEMORE That Old Man 'n' Me Blimey, someone else who thinks that two names aren’t enough. But unlike the blues rock up above, this is rootsy, introspective Americana. And it’s a concept (ish) album. Mr Sizemore has spent the last five years putting together a song cycle about his father, and the relationship he had with him, following the death of his father in 2009. Now my Dad died when I was still at the school, so I only have vague memories of him, so it must be a comforting feeling to be able to put down in words and music how you feel about your father. And he has a good way with a lyric and a melody, which is as much akin to the singer / songwriters of the early seventies, as it is anything else. There’s certainly a handful of tunes well worth your attention, with the best being ‘Hell for Certain’, ‘Think About Memphis’ and ‘Driving Drunk’, all of them topped off with a very listenable voice.
Stuart Hamilton- The Rocker
Harold Mike Sizemore is a solo artist from Ohio. He has a superb new record out called “That Old Man n’ Me”. if you like your rock with catchy retro southern blues and Americana feel then you will love this album. Songs like “Dark Haired Young Dream” glide around the room with storytelling lyrics and superb summery musical feel whilst songs such as “Think about Memphis” showcase Harold’s bluesy side and high octane vocals and the songs comes over a little like a Robert Johnson shuffle jamming with the modern vibes of Derek Trucks, Glen Campbell and Kenny Wayne Shepard. Americana blues if you will.
Harold grew up in a family that really liked music, his dad was an ok singer and his mom always had the radio on. Harold listened to old country music and 80’s country growing up. “I would say that I got the bug after seeing my uncle’s play bluegrass together in southeastern Kentucky.’ he remembers. His uncle’s band were always playing something at every family event. Harold started to listen to rock n roll when he got to junior high. “I didn’t have that a-ha moment until I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd and some of the classic rock bands of that period and it just made me want to learn guitar. I wore out five guitar teachers in my junior high- high school period and played everyday. I wrote my first song on Christmas Day 1998 and I’ve been writing and recording ever since,” Harold tells me.
Harold started getting into singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan, The Band, Jackson Browne and you clearly hear the Dylan influences throughout “That Old Man n’ Me”. Willie Nelson’s ‘Startdust” record was the first tape Harold ever owned. “Something about the way he played guitar that was always interesting to me” he remembers fondly.
The new record “That Old Man n’ Me” is a tribute to Harold’s father. He sadly passed away in 2009 suddenly from a heart attack and Harold found after writing the album took on a very personal feel. “Maybe not all of the songs were about him per say, but they were more of a how we related to one another,” he says. A song like “Dark Haired Young Dream’ was more how a young man can get himself in trouble in a big city. “I wrote it after seeing a sign in San Francisco and wondered how could I turn this into a song that John Prine could have wrote, it just seemed more Rock N Roll then country,” explains Harold.
Harold dislikes being flashy. “Some people really like that and I don’t blame them, truthfully I want to support the song,” he says. “Many artist want to tell you how great they are and want to show you their chops, I’m not really that type of player. I would prefer to allow the greatness of the song speak for what I’m doing, and hope that the intelligent listener is able to understand and feel emotion that comes from a great song. A million notes a minute are worthless if one great note can knock them all down.
The record took over a year to write it and produce it, and Harold recorded a bunch of songs that didn’t make the final cut. “It wasn’t that they weren’t good songs. I just feel they matched what I was doing the album for, the songs may come out on another album but I felt that the songs that did make the album were better suited for this tribute to my father,” he says.
The CD was recorded at Harold’s home studio except for the drums and bass on the track “Red Stag” which was recorded at his studio drummer Jim Murphy’s studio. “He did a great job of drumming on the record and really gave the songs a great push, I sent him the tracks over the internet and he sent me full drums tracks to add to the multi-track recordings.”
The Next Album is taking shape and is going to be more acoustic, it will be a disc with my band “Black Mountain Throwdown” Singer/Songwriter Tim Caudill and Harold do a ton of Americana tunes that have punk themes without it being punk sounding. “He has written some dark tunes and I’m looking forward to not only playing guitar but some lap steel as well.
The next Solo Record is going to be an acoustic record with songs from my first band in Columbus Ohio, should be an exciting 2015-16.” more info at:
Nicky Baldrian- Fireworks Magazine
HAROLD MIKE SIZEMORE One of These Days Haroldmikesizemrore.com E-mail: Haroldmikesizemore@yahoo.com Label: Own Management CD Baby Some artists don’t have the appearance to make it in the pop world. The idealized image of the rough and tough singer generally gives way to the slick flat promotional preference of the big labels which peddle their product to the critical pop market. The image of Harold Mike Sizemore does not satisfy this at all. His family name and his clothes might not make him a canaidate to be hung over your puberty teen’s bed. Thus this artist must have other qualities such as wonderful music and text in his songs on top of a beautiful voice. Sizemore grew his musical roots from his parents who live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Where he was exposed to country and bluegrass music. For ten years he has wrote his own songs and played with band like "Strange Acquaintance" from Columbus Ohio. He now plays clubs and rooms doing solo acoustic performances where he can count on assistance from the listening public. He is also the producer of a radio show for truckers on a radio station in Ohio. The songs on his debut album "One or these Days" is sincerely and targeted and his soulful voice gives the those songs an extra cachet. With only spare accompaniment "Could we be lovers?" has an intimate sound. One of the most beautiful songs on this album must be "Imagination". It appears that Harold Mike Sizemore has a splendid voice and is a blessed songwriter of American sounding songs. Broken hearts and feelings of loneliness are poured entirely into this simple sound. The "Experience life" would fit in well on an album like "Harvest" by Neil Young. Not unimportant is that the auditor can identify himself easily with the contents of the song texts. Also the number "wrong" is the last advancement of emotional outlet . With very few instruments Sizemore delivers a beautiful and full sound. Once again: simplicity and uprightness can be particularly beautiful. This is a text book example.(valsam) This is a tranlation on this review: HAROLD MIKE SIZEMORE ONE OF THESE DAYS myspace Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Label : Eigen Beheer CD Baby Sommige artiesten hebben van moeder natuur hun uiterlijk niet meegekregen om het bijvoorbeeld in de popwereld te maken. Het ideaalbeeld van de volslanke, ruige en viriele zanger draagt meestal toch de voorkeur weg van de gladde platenlabel-promotiejongens die hun product aan de kritische muziekliefhebbers moeten proberen te slijten. Aan dat ideaalbeeld voldoet Harold Mike Sizemore dus helemaal niet. Zijn familienaam indachtig moet hij bij het kopen van kleding altijd uitkijken naar één (of meerdere) maatje(s) meer en zijn foto zal je niet meteen terugvinden boven het bed van je puberende tienerdochter. Dus moet deze artiest het vooral hebben van andere kwaliteiten zoals oerdegelijke muziek en teksten in zijn liedjes en daar bovenop een mooie stem. Sizemore kreeg de muziek met de paplepel binnen via zijn ouders die in Cincinatti, Ohio woonden. Muzikaal wordt hij in zijn jeugd sterk beïnvloed door de country- en bluegrassliedjes die in dat gedeelte van Amerika tot de verplichte dagelijkse kost behoren. Een tiental jaren geleden begon hij zijn eigen liedjes te schrijven en trad hij op met een bandje genaamd “Strange Acquaintance”. Na die periode schuimt hij alle clubs en zalen af met een solo akoestische performance waarbij hij op veel bijval van het luisterende publiek kan rekenen. Hij is overigens ook de producer van een radioshow voor truckers op een lokaal radiostation in Ohio. De liefdesliedjes op het debuutalbum “One Of These Days” zijn oprecht en doelgericht en zijn soulvolle stem geeft die liedjes een extra cachet mee. Met enkel gitaarbegeleiding krijgt “Could We Be Lovers?” een indringend en intimistisch geluid mee. Bij de mooiste liedjes op dit album moet zeker ook “Imagination” gerekend worden. Hierop blijkt dat Harold Mike Sizemore over een prachtig stemgeluid beschikt en ook een begenadigde songschrijver is van erg Amerikaans klinkende liedjes. Gebroken harten en gevoelens van eenzaamheid worden op een geheel eigen wijze in tekstvorm gegoten en spreken voornamelijk aan door hun eenvoud. Het met gitaar en mondharmonica gebrachte “Experience Life” zou helemaal niet misstaan op “Harvest” van Neil Young. Niet onbelangrijk is dat de luisteraar zich gemakkelijk kan vereenzelvigen met de inhoud van de liedjesteksten. Ook het nummer “Wrong” is beklijvend van opbouw en emotionaliteit. Met ontzettend weinig instrumenten weet Sizemore toch een mooi en vol geluid aan zijn liedjes toe te kennen. Nogmaals: eenvoud en oprechtheid kunnen bijzonder mooi zijn. Deze plaat is daarvan een schoolvoorbeeld. Proficiat aan de schepper van al dat moois. (valsam)
“Play Some Skynyrd It seems I was just telling someone the other day that I was sick of local bands. Not to say that there is a shortage of quality bands in the area, but the scene is definitely dominated by either one of two genres-- The hippie Phish wannabes or the flavor-of-the-month cover bands dishing out such sure-bet future classics as BRITNEY SPEARS' "Baby, One more time" (unfortunatley, there is actully a band that includes this song in their set-- I won't name names). Save for the occasional interesting punk/power pop band, the local scene has been dragging. Enter Strange Acquitance, Just recently starting to gain momentum, Strange Acquitance brings to Columbus a sound that has been missing for years: classic rock. A recent gig at the Bourbon Street Cafe, performed to just over a half-full house, showcased the band's ability to do devastatingly accurate covers of such seldom sampled songs as THE ALLMAN BROTHERS' "Whipping Post" while delivering catchy, retro-rock originals of their own like "When your so far away" and "I know you don't," both penned by guitarist Mike Sizemore. Strange Acquitance revels in covering songs that have become rock cliches that no one dares to touch. They've included both "Stairway to Heaven" and "Freebird" in their sets and actully pull them off effectively-- to the delight of their audiences-- led by Sizemore's Slick guitar work, along with his and fellow lead singer/drummer Rich All's gravelly baritones. To watch these guys on stage is an event in itself, as they refuse to take themselves too seriously, from bassist Jared Mills's(formerly of the popular Toledo- based quintet Black Vice) propensity to wear his pajamas onstage to the entire groups's mindless, self-depreciating banter that is omnipresent throughout their shows, STRANGE ACQUITANCE does best to make their shows, if nothing else, fun to watch. Their gigs have been few -- Keyboardist Blaine Furukawa, an intregal part of the band's sound, lives in Cincinnati making it difficult to play consistantly -- but they've mastered their style like seasoned veterans. It's hard to tell how fara 70's influenced band can go as we near the millennium, but one thing is for certain: for the time being, STRANGE ACQUITANCE is breathing some much needed new life into a stagnating Columbus music scene. -- Jackson Buehrer MTV.com local Stringer(August 4, 1999)” - Jackson Buehrer