DownTown Mystic Strips It Down: “Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul: Acoustic Sessions”

The roots rock realm is set to be invigorated with the release of DownTown Mystic’s latest musical offering, “Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul: Acoustic Sessions” EP. Announced by Sha-La Music and digitally released on May 17, this EP serves as a compelling companion to the celebrated “RnR 4 The Soul” album, which hit the airwaves in late February. Distributed worldwide through The Orchard/Sony Music, this acoustic masterpiece invites listeners to experience the raw, unfiltered spirit of roots rock. The centerpiece track, “Think A Little Louder (Acoustic Mix),” made its exclusive debut online via Americana Highways on May 14, setting the stage for the full EP’s radio release the following day through Stephen’s Indie Picks. This collection, featuring six acoustic tracks including two bonus songs, is a testament to DownTown Mystic’s exceptional artistry and commitment to sonic purity.

Photo by Mark Maryanovich

“Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul: Acoustic Sessions” is not merely a stripped-down version of its predecessor. It is an exploration into the essence of songwriting, offering a fresh perspective on tracks like “Think A Little Louder,” “Soul’d Out,” and “Dead End Space.” Notably, “Eyes of The World,” a track that didn’t make the original album cut but emerged as its lead single, is also featured here, showcasing some of DownTown Mystic’s finest vocal performances.

The EP also benefits from the percussive talents of Steve Holley, whose dedication saw him cancel a trip to London to record at Shorefire Studios. Holley’s contributions on cajón, bongos, maracas, and his renowned tambourine – famously used by Ringo Starr on “We Can Work It Out” and “Day Tripper” – add a rich, rhythmic layer to “Eyes of The World,” underscoring the track’s emotional depth.

The release of the “Acoustic Sessions” EP was sparked by a fortuitous suggestion from Mike Gowen, head of Milestone Publicity in Nashville. DownTown Mystic’s Robert Allen, both writer and producer, credits Gowen with the idea of releasing these acoustic mixes, which were initially intended for sync-licensing. Allen’s collaboration with Milestone Publicity has proven to be a masterstroke, bringing a fresh dimension to DownTown Mystic’s discography.

Robert Allen’s reflection on this partnership is telling: “I do these kinds of mixes for sync-licensing, but it never occurred to me to release them until Mike mentioned it. Luckily, I have a great product manager at Sha-La to put together the release for me. lol” This collaboration has yielded an EP that not only stands apart from the full album but also invites listeners to compare and appreciate the nuanced differences.

Photo by Mark Maryanovich

Among the treasures of the EP is the original full version of “Think A Little Louder,” previously unheard and now available in its untouched form. The bonus tracks add further allure: “Without A Trace” has been sync-licensed for the upcoming film ‘Everything’s Going to Be Great,’ featuring Bryan Cranston and Allison Janney. Allen seized the opportunity to reimagine this track acoustically, offering a distinct take separate from the studio version in the movie. Additionally, “Night Time Girl,” initially earmarked for the “RnR 4 The Soul” album but left without a fitting spot, now finds its place in this acoustic collection, preceding its final rendition on DownTown Mystic’s forthcoming album.

“Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul: Acoustic Sessions” is a testament to DownTown Mystic’s unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity in music. The EP’s stripped-down arrangements allow the craftsmanship of the songwriting to shine through, highlighting the emotional resonance and vocal prowess that are hallmarks of Robert Allen’s work.

In a music industry often swayed by fleeting trends, DownTown Mystic stands firm in their dedication to well-crafted hooks and polished arrangements. The acoustic versions presented in this EP not only stay true to the spirit of rock n roll but also introduce a new flavor to DownTown Mystic’s already rich sonic palette. The EP is radio-friendly throughout, yet it never compromises on the depth and integrity that fans have come to expect.

For those seeking the unadulterated essence of DownTown Mystic’s music, “Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul: Acoustic Sessions” offers a refreshing and profound listening experience. Works like these, spearheaded by the seasoned and musically proficient Robert Allen, and his crew of legendary collaborators deserve accolades and appreciation. DownTown Mystic’s ability to breathe new life into these songs through acoustic reinterpretations makes the EP not just a companion piece; but a standalone work of art that deserves repeated listens.

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