"Kiss and Tell" is such
a professional debut that it's hard to think of it as coming from and independent label
from a virtually unknown artist. An artist who is also responsible for writing and
cowriting many of the songs. Another writer's credits on this album are from the better
known source of one of my favorite songwriters, Dan Nash, which is how I came to hear
about Ian. Dan is also a Boa Records artist and you can find his music and review right
here on MKOC.
Ian's first musical memories came
during his school years when his parent's "forced" him to take the standard
music lessons... piano and French horn were the instruments of choice. By the time Ian was
15 he realized that his true musical interest required a slightly different approach, so
he bought a Fender acoustic guitar and learned enough chords to play a handful of his
favorite tunes. Over time, Ian started writing his own songs and took his music to a
more serious level. Some of Ian's biggest influences in music were from a large variety of
artists and genres but Garth Brooks and Paul Brandt are two of his biggest role models.
The title release from "Kiss and
Tell" has been making it's way up the Canadian and European charts and continues to
climb weekly. As of this week (April 16, 2003) his song rose 20 points up the charts,
which is quite a climb! This Canadian Country Crooner will not be hidden in the shadows...
he will continue to climb and I foresee more albums in his future.... No, I'm not fortune
teller, I just know what I like. As it happens, many of you country lovers seem to like
the same styles and variety of voices that I do so I have no doubt about Ian's abilities
to capture some hearts out there in the world of country music fans.
I am eager to see how some of the other
songs on this album fair on the charts as there are so many great ones to choose from.
Among my favorites are; "Don't Tell My Heart", which starts out with a little
juant then slowly melds into his feelings, then picks up the pace as he pleads,
"don't tell my heart, it shouldn't know the way you make me feel...". In
"That's Enough" Ian sings of a hero in his life - "he's a solid rock
whenever times get tough and that's enough". I can't imagine anyone being unable to
identify with this song. Change the pace and tune into "Handy Man", penned by
Ian, and you will get you caught up in the word play of his fun lovin', honky tonkin', toe
kickin' song that covers all the staples of real country tools, like duct tape as he tries
to fix his broken heart. Now slow it down a bit for "Teddy Bear"... if this song
doesn't tug at your heart strings, you're simply not human.. nuff said!
Another point of sale on "Kiss and
Tell" is the composition and production. The Executive Producer was Ian Earl! That
just adds one more credit to this young man's talent as well as to Boa Records... they
have a fine artist who knows what he wants and Boa gives him the reigns to do so... I know
personally, Boa Record execs aren't worried about this.. they knew exactly what they were
doing. The album was engineered by Endre Lukacsy and Dan Nash. Dan was also the producer
and worked with Richard Harrow to Mix the album. Richard Harrow did the mastering and the
end product is one that all involved can be proud of. There's also a list of musicians and
background singers who all did their part in making this album a prize production... you
hear each musical instrument, but at no time does it overshadow the voice of Ian Earl.
Bottom line, Ian Earl's "Kiss and
Tell" CD runs the full gamut of country music with something for everyone, from fast
to slow, but oddly and wonderfully enough, each one flows right into the other as Ian
croons away and you can't help but sit back and enjoy his style and delivery of each song.
Here's a tip... like the album
says, "Kiss and Tell". Kiss a friend, a lover or a family member, then tell them
about Ian Earl's debut winner, "Kiss and Tell"... the kisses will be overflowing
and the words will be flyin' as everyone starts to "Kiss and Tell"!
Marlene Slater (Marli)
© My Kind of Country