Earlier in the year, I wrote a piece entitled, Who is Ronnie Ciago? I Mean, You Really Have to Ask? The link for that piece is here.
But to repeat a bit, Ronnie has played with Brand X, Circa, Bill Ward, Leo Nocentelli & the Meters Experience, Robert Downey, Jr., Patrick Moraz, Frank Stallone, The Floaters, Ray Manzarek (the Doors) and so many more. In fact, he has played on over 300 CD’s. It’s time to put out his own solo CD and it will be called CIAGO!
Not only does Ronnie perform on multiple instruments on these recordings, he is also the composer/arranger, producer and engineer.. On the song Alecia, he performs everything that you hear. This is his project from the first to the last.
Two tracks were forwarded for the purpose of hearing what the finished product will sound like. Two tracks were more than enough to get me enthusiastic about the project.
The first track was entitled The Battle and it begins as it should, with Ronnie releasing the thunder from the opening measure. Immediately, I am reminded of Return to Forever in regards to the structure and precision of the composition. With Ronnie’s drums, the keyboards, guitars and bass are joined.
From early on, it is easy to recognize that this is not just a drummer’s recording, this is a musician’s recording.
There is cohesiveness and a sharing among the parts that rejects the idea of this being a novelty CD only for drum fans. Ronnie has written parts that shine for each of the instruments.The drums, however, are truly magnificent. Ronnie creates a sonic substructure that makes the other parts sound even better. The drumming is not just time-keeping, it is melody enhancement.
After a furious introduction, a cool jazz piano takes over before surrendering to an orchestra that is reminiscent of Yes’ Magnification album. Then the fusion returns in fury with lead guitar and keyboard and Ronnie’s drums carry you brilliantly to the conclusion. This is exciting music.
The second track is called Alecia. The song opens with a gentle keyboard that is joined by the sounds of acoustic guitar. There are moving chord changes within the first minute of the song that hook the listener and will return throughout the song.
Below is the YouTube link to that song.
It is rare that I find myself singing a song over and over while I am doing mundane things but this is one of those songs. It is a melody and lyrics that return again and again.
Now here is my heart’s impression. The song is not a typical pop love song. There is a very profound and almost haunting tone to the whole piece. What is reflected here is not puppy-love in any sense. Rather, it sounds of a very deep love that has endured hardship and pain; not a love of excitement but of refuge. The love that Ronnie writes about must be a love that has created a haven, not just a heaven.
These are only two songs from Ronnie Ciago’s forthcoming CD. The proposed release is in 2013. It is indeed time to put out his own solo CD and it will be called CIAGO! It gives us something to anticipate.