A Super-Groovy Kool Pop Treat

Orange Swirl (Timstone Music)
Orange Swirl

By Tim Roberts

Musicians! Sheesh! Just because one of them has a brother who happens to be a music-store and recording label entrepreneur in Louisville, does that mean he can write, record, produce and play most of the instruments on a CD? Fortunately, the answer is "yes," in the case of Orange Swirl. It also helps if you are a renowned guitarist who's been immersed in the hooks used in pop music over the last 35 years.

Andy Timmons, brother of John "Mr. ear X-tacy" Timmons, is known around his current home of Dallas, Texas as a versatile guitarist, as easily at home with the blues as he is with rock or coffeehouse folk. Orange Swirl, featuring Timmons on guitars, vocals and bass, along with a stable of drummers, other bassists and string performers, is your personal guide through some of the cleanest sounds that have come across the radio from the bouncy days of Help to the stadium rock performers at the close of the 1980s.

All along the 13-track trip, we get driving guitars and harmonies tighter than spandex ("Please Come Home"), Lemon Pipers sitar and psychedelia ("State of Mind"), Velcro Pygmies rawness and power ("Nothing You Can Do"), melodic, passionate social consciousness ("Homeless"), a Poison power ballad ("Leave It Alone"), and all kinds of cool stuff in between.

Who's the biggest influence on this CD's sound? You have several clues: 1. The colors and pattern on the CD's artwork (for those too young to remember: the orange and yellow swirl - hence, the project's name - used on 45s released by Capitol Records); 2. The Timstone Music logo is in brush script under a capitol dome; 3. A note-for-note transcription of the Lennon-McCartney standard "She's Leaving Home," as heartbreaking as the original, complete with strings and harp. Draw your own conclusions.

Disengage your head. Have some fun. Dig on Orange Swirl.