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July 2024
Vol. 23, No. 10

CD Reviews

RICK LORENZINI: The Anywhere Cafe

by Wayne RikerMay 2023

The Anywhere Cafe is a 12-track offering of all original songs from singer/songwriter Rick Lorenzini, who accompanies himself vocally on piano and guitar on every track, save one. The project was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Signature Sound Studios in San Diego by Michael Harris, with additional recording at Bigrock Studios in Escondido, engineered by Andy Machin, who also contributed guitar and background vocal parts on select tracks.

An up-tempo swing tempo sets the stage for the opening track, the title track, with Lorenzini front and center vocally as if he’s entertaining a packed lounge audience. “You’ll always ask me where do I wanna go…well how about anywhere with you,” followed immediately by “Before You Made Everything,” a 180-degree turn with Lorenzini solo on acoustic guitar and vocals. “Did you think we could love one another, without casualties?”

Lorenzini switches over to piano for “Wouldn’t You Rather Be with Me,” with a nice melodic acoustic guitar solo from Machin. “I’m sure you’re sorry for the way you fled, running off like you were scared of the dark.”

On “Just Once,” Lorenzini hands the mic over to vocalist Holly Rix whose mellifluous voice carries Lorenzini’s lyrics. “I was so much more than your pretty Valentine…but we were never completely attached.”

On “The Ghost of Past Guitars,” a full electric band joins the project with Vitaliy Tkachuk on guitar, Nate Barnes on drums, Chris Bonner on bass, and Mike Harris on percussion providing an Eagles/Allman Brothers layer of guitar harmonies supporting Lorenzini’s muse. “Paid a fortune teller at the square for 20 dollars…she’ll take your hand and she’ll search your soul.”

“Quiet the Rumor” brings Machin back in the guitar chair, supporting Lorenzini on piano and voice. “If you leave me I will surely follow…as long as it don’t cost me,” followed by “God Knows Better,” Lorenzini’s take on faith: “I don’t pray anymore and I’m no longer bitter.”

The concluding five tracks spotlight Lorenzini on piano with cellist Bruno Serroni joining in on the first three, a familiar combination harkening back to the storytelling days of Harry Chapin with Lorenzini’s voice front and center, opening with “Make Me Well.” “We could weather the darkest skies we find ourselves in…that will come like an eventual storm,” to the sarcasm of “Nicely Done.” “Nicely done, you’ve made me a mess.”

With “Say It Again,” a recurrent theme of unrequited love. “Say it again, say my name…quietly that I have to strain,” followed by “Johnny T,” an old friend who took the wrong path in life. “It’s a damn good thing Johnny T is gone.”

The concluding track, “It Attracts Me,” sums up most of Lorenzini’s reflections back of love lost and what could have been. “I think I’ve lost my mind over you…and if I can’t find it, that’s cruel.” It’s a mesmerizing listen of a life’s journey through Lorenzini’s compositions that are well written with simple accompaniment and arrangements that don’t stand in the way of the songwriter’s lyrical reflections

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