Waiting for a Sunny Day - The EP
It's fascinating how things just seem to come together. Like most bands, Chadwick Station was trying to make their mark on the music world. They knew they had something to say. It was just the matter of how they were going to say it. As fate would have it a movie producer was looking for original, unpublished material for a new movie that was in production called An Inconsistent Truth. He had stumbled across the band's demo of Looking for the Truth and fancied it for the movie. A deal was struck with the band's label, Englishwood Records, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since the movie was in production in Nashville the lads and their management thought it wise to set up camp there for their first project. They teamed with veteran producer-writer-musician Bill Cuomo to produce the movie cut and, subsequently, their first EP. Chadwick Station's front man, Alvis Kensington, was well aware of Cuomo's work. "When I first heard the name I went, 'Blimey, this is the guy who did those brilliant keyboards at the top of Oh Sherrie and Bette Davis Eyes.'"
Cuomo not only played keyboard on Steve Perry's Oh Sherrie, he co-wrote it. He played on Perry's first solo album, Street Talk, and co-wrote three of the tracks. His distinctive keyboard arrangements won a Grammy for the Kim Carnes hit Bette Davis Eyes. You hear his keyboard work on Here I Go Again by Whitesnake and Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. He played on, wrote or produced records for Don Henley, Smokey Robinson, Thelma Houston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS and many others. This Grammy and Dove winner was the perfect fit for the sound Chadwick Station was trying to translate into a studio project.
Their debut EP, Waiting for a Sunny Day, takes you along for an emotional ride that is one moment pensive and ruminative then the next determined and inspiring. At times you'll swear you hear voices from the distant past only to realise you're hearing them for the very first time. High and Low builds to a spine-tingling crescendo while the title track, Waiting for a Sunny Day, runs the gamut from hopelessness to hope. Startin' Tomorrow is what the Spin Doctors would've cut had they been part of the British Invasion. Leaving it All Up To You sounds as if it escaped from a Sgt. Pepper album and took refuge in an Apple Computer commercial. Before Time Slipped Away shows a softer side of the band with forlorn lyrics of a love gone by.
When Chadwick Station were in the midst of recording High and Low someone in the session commented that the song carried a hint of the Little River Band. The band offered as to how they were big fans of LRB. Cuomo smiled. He told them the story of how he had been dispatched to Montserrat once upon a time by Beatles producer Sir George Martin to record synthesizer overdubs for LRB's Time Exposure LP. He was still good friends with founding member Beeb Birtles who was responsible for LRB's rich vocal harmonies. He asked if the band wanted him to invite Birtles to work his magic on High and Low. "Are you serious?" Kensington laughed, telling the story later. "We were flipping out. Asking him, 'Are you taking the mick? Can you actually do that?'" Birtles agreed and what started out with a hint of LRB ended up being lavishly buttered.
The title track, Waiting for a Sunny Day, can be interpreted in many different ways. It's best summed up by the writer, Kensington. "Ever been in a funk?" he asks. "I mean a rut funk? Something you can't seem to pull out of? That's what this record is all about." Kensington noted that it is ultimately a message of hope. "Look, if you're just going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself and wait for someone else to change your situation you're going to be sadly disappointed. Get off your bum and make it happen!" The harmonic vocals in the bridge draw the most attention. Some have asked if they employed the Beach Boys for the background vocals. Given Cuomo's connections that would not be out of the realm of possibility.
*Portions recorded at McKenzie House Studio