Skip to content

‘California Rain’, John C. Aulabaugh’s Upcoming Album, Reviewed

john

John C. Aulabaugh

 

If California is synonymous of sunshine, John C. Aulabaugh opens his upcoming album with the title track, ‘California Rain’, a beautiful ballad filled with delicate guitar, warm and melancholic strings and his soaring powerhouse, propelling the apparent gentle tune to poignant heights. There’s softness and something close to violent euphoria in this song, and the tender guitar picking of the beginning could, at times, be slightly reminiscent of Eric Clapton’s style.

As it is the case for numerous musicians, Aulabaugh brings many influences at the core of his songwriting. Once you know he has previously worked with producer Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, WallFlowers), Jessy Greene (Foo Fighters, Wilco, Jayhawks, Pink), Frankie DiVanna (Candlebox/Trashcan Sinatras), Jason Roberts (Norah Jones) and Dave Krusen (Pearl Jam), it is easy to hear some of the Foo Fighters’ rage in ‘Existential Crisis’, although the strong melody of the song breaks down in the middle to a sort of Beatles-que psychedelic revolution meltdown. It is however quite difficult to pigeonhole the entire album, as a Tom Petty-esque ‘Dream Girl’ brings even more diversity and makes its alt-country roots shine, while ‘Rely’, after a soothing start, makes its guitars roar in reverb with a Neil Young toughness while keeping an indie rock touch.

There’s even a south of the border visit during a ‘Spanish Lullaby’ with triumphant Mexican trumpets à la Calexico and Spanish guitars, going into pleasant dissonance and intense emotion. ‘I’ve Had Better Days’ may be the most indie rock song of the album, introducing banjo and piano, Harrison-esque guitars and one of the most hooky chorus of the album. While John C. Aulabaugh’s voice and guitar have never been so clear and determined, the song is a sort of love affair between English pop and Americana indie rock.

‘Don’t want to say good bye, so I say hello,’ he continues during ‘Hello’, which could be a direct allusion to the Beatles’ Hello Goodbye’, while the following song, ‘Grace’, starts like one of the most tender McCartney compositions, before flying high. Does it mean that Aulabaugh carries his influences on his sleeve? He is certainly not afraid to cover one of Elliott Smith’s best-known tunes, ‘Between the Bars’, which nicely fits after two songs about Smith’s main obsessions, the pursuit of love (‘Dream Girl’) and angst (‘Existential Crisis’), and Aulabaugh sings it with soul and an almost bluesy tone in the vocals of the chorus.

Although he was in a band in his early 20’s, Aulabaugh left music for the corporate world when he had to raise a family, but he recently decided to go back to music, and almost immediately started to write and record songs although he hadn’t played guitar for several decades. The most amazing part of the story is that it never shows, with his impeccable musical background, Aulabaugh’s music seems to belong to the classics.

‘California Rain’ – and this may be a working title – still doesn’t have a proper release date, but it will follow his 2015 debut album ‘Of Sins Present and Past’ which was dealing with the dark themes of addiction and recovery, pain and recovery. This upcoming one, which leans more on the love-song theme side, will move you through genres and ranges of emotions, elegantly navigating between classic rock and indie pop rock, bringing a slight touch of Americana, a personal feel and a touching vibe. Throughout the album, Aulabaugh’s strong and youthful voice is balancing the songs with grace and assurance over intelligently crafted melodies shifting between sunshine and rain. Rain may be rare in California, but it does occur and a California rainy day has to be as treasured as a listen to this album.

Tracklist
California Rain
Existential Crisis
Dream Girl
Between the Bars
Rely
Girl of My Dreams
Spanish Lullaby
I’ve Had Better Days
Hello
Grace

1 Comments

  1. Belinda Buyze on November 28, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Great album and great review!

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo-e1623352788338-reupload
ScreenShot2020-10-05at12.00.04PM-reupload

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top