Review: Starting Over (E.P.) by Ryan Sweezey

The pure pop “Bartender” is the same theme as Richard Berry’s quintessential masterpiece, “Louie, Louie.”  People may think the girlfriend is Louie when songwriter Berry was actually telling the bartender he was overjoyed to be going back to the island –  that “Me see Jamaica moon above/it won’t be long before me see me love.”    Sweezey, as many a man with a glass in hand, is more concerned she’s not coming back…and unlike the Marvelette’s begging the postman if there’s any communique…or acknowledgment, Ryan wants the guy behind the bar to go fetch her.  Interesting since the Kingsmen’s 1963 hit and Marvellette’s 1961 smash were fifty seven and fifty nine years ago, but music is all so circular.   The single, “Alright (for a Little While,) goes Dan Fogelberg-touches-of-country with solid production and plenty of verve…with a terrific chorus.  Love it!   Unlike Santana’s mega album Supernatural, which shifted from genre to genre in a way which jolted at first spin, Sweezey moves gently from pop to country pop to blues in the first three tracks.  The live performances of songs on YouTube are engaging, but the studio work is superb. “Late is the Hour,” track 3, shows the complementary vocal and guitar skills: Sweezey is quite gifted! Soulful at one moment, Little Joe Cook falsetto the next tucked inside a composition that is well structured with much commercial potential.

“Sing a Song With You” borrows from the Beatles harmonies in “From Me to You,” but turns the corner quickly to a folk/country flavor.  “One of Two,” featuring a duet with Heather Woods – the rootsy vocalist from Boston with her own EP out, Let Me In.  The pairing generate a mellow, introspective piece that Elton John would find nice to add to Blue Moves Two – if he ever went in that direction.  Nice stuff. “Storytellers” and “Edge of the World” round out this E.E.P. (extra extra play,) the former an Americana essay on those who keep the attention of a world that craves entertainment – the latter song, a cosmic acoustic with dangling sounds that pretty it up like subtle starbursts to weave some magic under the songwriter/singer’s appealing vocal.  The ballad gains steam and is a strong finish to a well-planned and accomplished collection of solid material.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.