James Armstrong & Greg Black

In the Wind


James Armstrong and Greg Black’s In the Wind is Sun Break Records’ second release, with 12 tracks totaling 45 minutes.  The music is acoustic-guitar driven with a strong electric guitar component, varying in feel from straight-ahead rock n’ roll to folk rock to power pop.  These are love songs about wanting love, celebrating love, lacking love, asking for love and believing that people can love each other on a planetary scale.  Amid the driving, danceable rock n’ roll songs, there are thoughtful mid-tempo love ballads.  Armstrong and Black’s original songs alternate here.  They began this recording by singing and playing acoustic guitar together on each other’s songs. The lyrics are multi-layered and thought-provoking.  If you like the ring of guitar strings without a lot of distortion, this bunch of songs is for you.  This album was released on January 1, 2015.

These two singer-songwriters main influence is of course the Beatles’ blinding thermonuclear explosion onto the scene. Here, Armstrong and Black play great American straight-ahead, exuberant rock n’ roll as fresh as a flash of sun just now breaking out from behind dark clouds. You get a lot of variety on this love-song album, informed by Armstrong and Black’s eclectic influences, and full of these two songwriters’ own inspiration and invention.

Dark Southern-Appalachian folk inspires the minor chords of “Eye of the Tiger”, that break open into hopeful major chords. “Eyes Meet”’s happy, rollicking rock expresses the wide-open wonder of true love. You can hear the early Greenwich Village musicians in the simple folk heart of “Babe”. “Bridges” starts with some definite hard rock riffs and carries an altruistic yet practical theme. “Angelica”, a power ballad, owes much to groundbreaking country rock and deals with a questionable, unusual relationship. The funk and snap of “Come on Over” recalls some of classic rock’s best songs.

Armstrong built “Sleepin’” around the iconic blues riff, and the song also has an insistent power-rock bass drum. “Sweet Love”, a power ballad with ringing guitars, has memorable, soaring octave-intervals in the lead guitar riffs. “Don’t Need Nothin’” injects some aggressive, nihilistic garage punk into the mix. “International Dance”, with its chaotic, barely controlled explosiveness, has a life of its own. “One Way” hangs on that great basic rock hook that is instantly recognizable. “In the Wind” has those achingly-beautiful major 7th chords combined with an ever-expanding lead guitarist dreamscape.

Here is the opening cut on the album written by James called Eye of the Tiger to give you a taste.
Here is the tenth track written by Greg called International Dance for a little different flavor.
 You can listen to more excerpts and buy the album by clicking on the CD Baby link below.
James Armstrong & Greg Black: In the Wind


Or if you prefer, you can check it out on iTunes:


A few photos of James and Greg from a Sunday afternoon after rehearsing at the beach. . .
San Gregorio Beach at sunset, a favorite destination. . .

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Cooking up something good. . .


© 2015 Sun Break Records

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