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  • Writer's pictureSasha Davies

Dick Aven New LP 'Spin So Long'

Dick Aven begins his jazzy-pop album with a song titled “Stirred Up.” A

title like that one suggests a bit of rollicking music. Not so, though.

Over a plucked acoustic guitar, and colored by Aven’s sexy saxophone,

you might say this track is only lightly stirred. It’s a positive song,

however, as it predicts a future when all is well. Perhaps, it reflects

the thoughts of one that can see a light at the end of the tunnel, after

all this whole horrible pandemic business is finished. Aven sings about

how a “beautiful day’s” gonna come. Let’s hope he’s right. The song

creates a woozy, happy mood. It’s one of many soft rock gems on Aven’s

consistently good album.

With “Weightless,” Aven gets a little funky – but just a little bit.

This one is driven by electric piano and finds Aven getting into a

gentle groove. Like the album-opener, it also suggests a wish/hope for a

better life. Aven sings about how he was “born to be weightless,” which

suggests he – like us all – is many times weighted down by, well, life.

Nobody wants to be burdened down. Yet, more often than not, we are held

down by circumstances. With this groove song, however, you may feel

weightless – at least while it plays.

Aven plays some mighty fine saxophone, and sax appears on nearly every

track on his album. When he’s not dreaming of a brighter future for

mankind, he’s singing about love and romance. There’s his ‘moth to the

flame’ analogy of “Fly Into The Fire,” which is followed by the loving

thoughts expressed on “It’s Something.”

The album’s title cut, “Spin So Long,” is propelled by acoustic piano.

Aven sings it with a sweet vocal tone. He’s not especially soulful when

he sings. At least not as soulful as when he blows his horn. He sounds a

little like Michael Franks, in that he mixes jazz elements with

singer/songwriter songs.

One of the album’s most intriguing song titles is “Bad Dogs and Weed.”

“I’ve lived a lifetime with bad dogs and weed,” Aven tells us. Just what

this means, however, is difficult to say. It seems to suggest a kind of

wild, music business lifestyle. After all, Aven tours with Jamey

Johnson, and one has to imagine the road with this man gets a little

wild at times.

With “Unglued,” Aven sings with a high vocal register, the same one he

also applies to the single, “Fly Into The Fire.” This track reveals

itself slowly, much the same way “Stirred Up” does.

The album closes with two instrumentals. One, “Deacon Bones,” is upbeat

and almost sounds as though it could be a TV show theme song. It’s

powered, of course, by Aven’s strong saxophone work. In places on it,

Aven’s saxophone is nicely multitracked. The album closes with “Spinning

Outro,” another instrumental, and a short one. It’s only 1:03 long. Its

rhythm is provided by insistent acoustic guitar. Rather than being a

saxophone song, this one features a flute carrying its melody.

Maybe this is an outdated term, but Dick Aven’s Spin So Long is

decidedly mellow, from start to finish. It’s the interesting kind of

mellow, though, and never dull. Go ahead and spin to this one, albeit on

the gentle cycle.

Follow Dick Aven on INSTAGRAM

Listen to 'Spin So Long' on SPOTIFY NOW

-Dan MacIntosh


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