Some months back we reviewed the dynamic Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame band, The Sixth Generation, who started performing in 1966 and released their first chart-topping song called “This Is The Time” in 1967. After releasing the lead single, “Livin’ in a Small Town”, in 2015, The Sixth Generation – made up of Dave Walenga (drums, vocals), Ron Hamrick (keyboards, vocals), Paul Davies (bass, vocals) and Fred Hulce (keyboards, vocals), are now back with their 8-track album entitled, “Feelin’ Good”.
The album is a great glimpse of what The Sixth Generation is all about. The band is extremely versatile and can cover any genre of music from rock n’ roll to folk, pop and country-type tunes, and do it well. Overall, The Sixth Generation sticks to the formula which has made them so attractive the past few years, and on their last single release, with tight harmonies and a super polished sound. But they also continue to push the concept of what defines them and it works just as well this time around.
“Feelin’ Good” is another great adventure through the musical stratosphere with one of the most dynamic indie adult contemporary groups around. The Sixth Generation keeps you on the edge of your seat with each track. How’d they do it? From song one, they have me feeling good and even though there are quite a few somber moments throughout, they present it so beautifully I can only hope to feel the same emotion each song evokes once more when the album makes its way through again.
Every song takes you somewhere new and it really makes you feel good. These boys have certainly laid the gauntlet down, with Ron Hamrick writing all the songs, bar “At A Glance”, which was penned by Fred Hulce. Simply put, this recording belongs on that small shelf for records that you will never part with. I have asked some
people if there was anything out there in the same vein, recorded today, and they could not think of one recording.
That’s because The Sixth Generation comes from another era and they have brought its pure musical legacy with them, straight into today. This band is not obsessed by modern, multi-layered production qualities, but more concerned about song melodies and lyrics. It’s substance over shine for them. In essence, The Sixth Generation is a band of storytellers, and they wrap their stories into snuggly, cuddlesome tunes that will enchant melody and harmony lovers of any generation. This quartet is a band simply trying to make the best, honest and most plenary music they can, which means avoiding modern clichés, both musically and lyrically – something the pull off with ease.
From “Keep On Chasin’ My Dream” to “Feelin’ Good”, “Those Old Rock Songs” and “At A Glance” to “Roll On, Roll On”, these are all gems. Groups today should take the time to learn to sing harmonies like The Sixth Generation – these melodies, as much as the words, will make this kind of music live forever. After all these years, The Sixth Generation is still burning with creativity, and smooth out any rougher edges with sweet vocal harmonies. Furthermore, the instrumentation and production on “Feelin’ Good” is simple and unpretentious enough to stand up to decades of listening. Try singing any Kanye West stuff, in 2060, huddled around a campfire together with Justin Bieber!
“Feelin’ Good” is out on February 26.