Down Island Way

by: Gene Mitchell

Gene Mitchell, for his fourth album Down Island Way, follows the same formula that has made him one of the most beloved Jimmy Buffet-style performers around. Using a Caribbean-style flavoring as the main ingredient in his compositions, one's spirit is lifted by the joy-filled ambience created. Mitchell also uses his expertise in creative songwriting to capture an audience, as in "Classic Songs." Here one finds lyrics which are easily related to, the familiar quality makes it very easy to get into the song by completely capturing the listeners attention. With the aid of sweet saxophone riffs from Amy Lee, sax player for Jimmy Buffet, Mitchell explores and delivers his jazz side on "With You Here." While showing a jazz edge with this song, he still manages to include some of the island flavoring to the mix with the steel drum ingredient. On "No More," one has to be strong not to become ridden with sadness over the touching lyrics, as Mitchell sings of a lost lover who has died and left him alone: "no more walking, hours just talking/about the things they both adored/no more holding hands, won't be making plans/she's not coming back anymore." A sad song presented with beauty in a contagious melody make this a perfect example of why people flock to buy this artist's albums. John Raymond, who has worked with Mitchell on other albums, adds his amazing guitar skills to heighten the rock essence on "It's Really Love This Time." The guitar and bass guitar work from the longtime guitarist for Kenny G are complemented by Mitchell's heart and soul vocal performance, making this another exceptionally powerful presentation from the album. Whether Gene Mitchell performs Jimmy Buffet-style Caribbean music or rock/jazz-flavored songs, they all come off as the most infectious music gracing the sonic waves to date. Break out the suntan lotion, put on the shades, and join Gene Mitchell on the voyage Down Island Way. ~ Larry Belanger

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