31 May 2015


Mike Dooley writes seriously good songs and not just out of the American songbook, even if he introduced one as "written in 2012, should have been written in 1942" and a bloke beside me said the music is timeless. They are both right. Mike has imbibed the styles and capability of the era, the changes, the lively grooves, the lyrical melodies, the witty rhyming lyrics. These tunes just sound right, never forced into a straightjacket by an ill-considered chord or uncomfortable line. Even when the words are slightly tortured, the phrasing twisted into a melody, it works, it's humourous, it's clever. But beyond the songbook, Mike's also written the mystical-sounding mid-Eastern Across the Gulf, several heart -on-sleeve sentimentals, Incurable and the immensely gorgeous Soliloquy, the funky Zymergy (the last word in the dictionary, to be the final tune in some future fake book), the latins Symbiosis and Kiss the sunrise, the ever-rising spine-tingling goose-bumping Upward spiral (a killer amongst gun-toters) and the immensely wistful theme (picked up for the local film, Locks of love) Edge of time. I've played these tunes and love them, but they took on a new life as I listened, with a mix of great support musicians: piano, guitar, bass, drums, a horn section for some tunes, a string quartet for others. And Rachel at the heart of it all, who has sung with Mike as the duo, In2Deep, for several years. She's such a good singer, lively, capable, interesting, great voice with long-term experience. And she and Mike make a great vocal pair, sweet harmonies over a satisfying musical conversation. I was not the only one tapping along. One couple danced with the excitement of it all, despite unlikely surroundings. This was a CD launch and Mike was chuffed that even the barman bought a copy. After all, this is not Sia's writing for Rhianon and Beyonce and Katy Perry; the writing may be timeless but not quite so pop-commercial current. But the crooners are still touring and there are winning songs here for more than just their ilk. This is the real deal. Mike, great writing; Rachel, great singing; band, great support.

In2Deep launched their new CD at the Dickson Tradies. In2Deep are Mike Dooley (piano, vocals, compositions) and Rachel Thorne (vocals). They were supported on the night by Camilo Gonz (guitar), Philip Dick (bass), Steve Richards (drums), Dan Bray (tenor, soprano), Rouslan Babajanov (alto, soprano), Mark Du Rieu (trumpet, flugelhorn), Rob Clements (trombone), Timothy Wickham (violin), Anne Horton (violin), Iska Samson (viola), Alex Voorhoeve (cello)

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