Contact: Thomas Hottman
By GERRY O'BRIEN
Listening to the newly released CD by Klamath Falls rheumatologist Clay McCord, M.D., takes one on a journey back in time — to the golden era of the ballad in the '60s and '70s.
McCord, a local physician at Sky Lakes Rheumatology Clinic, covers a wealth of genres, from rock to country western, on this CD, too. But its strength is a blend of vocals, keyboard and instruments that unify the pieces. It is not that the vocals or one instrument stands out, but they meld into a unified group of relaxing, easy listening music.
All the songs are original, written by McCord, a musician of 38 years. He's been practicing medicine since 1976.
"The concept behind this new release was to produce a sound similar to the band I had in high school, featuring trumpet, bass, keyboard and drums. Of course that was the foundation for a much richer and elaborate concert-style sound," he writes on his website.
"There also was an emphasis on creating not just a variety of genres, but of sound and accompaniment, as if to give the illusion that several different recording studios were involved in the process.
"His first album was released in May 2013. It, too had all original songs.
This one, entitled, "Return of the Ballad II: New Horizons" was mixed in a studio in Las Vegas.McCord sings and plays most of the instruments; his wife, Lisa, is the backup vocalist and the mixing and some percussion is by Joshua Connolly.
"What is different from the previous one is that this CD is more complex, with more variety of genres, and more sophisticated orchestrations," he said. "What inspired me is to be creative over the course of our long winters here; giving me some time to write."
"Though CD albums are not as popular as decades ago, everyone has a car stereo at least. Many of these are high-quality and merit high quality music. Why listen to oldies of the 60s, 70s, and 80s when you can find original music of even better quality recording that will take you there?" he asks.
As you listen, you will find that the voice does not necessarily stand out above the accompaniment.
"This is because the music will never be about myself, but rather about the content and the sound," McCord said. "I have suggested to many that we need to make music a bigger part of our lives, just as we did in those decades. Only music is capable of touching the heart abstractly — even more than art, if we are lucky enough to allow it."
He will be entering this year's Britt Festival of Rising Stars competition in Jacksonville and the Table Rock City auditions.