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Music Review: The Red Button – As Far As Yesterday Goes

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With their debut, She’s About To Cross My Mind, The Red Button produced what would’ve been one of the hippest records of the British Invasion — had it not been composed nearly 50 years afterward by two guys from California.

Nearly four years on now, the singing/songwriting duo of Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg has returned with The Red Button’s sophomore LP, As Far As Yesterday Goes (Grimble Records). Where its predecessor for the most part evoked a Merseybeat vibe, this effort reflects far broader influences, its melodic-pop foundation at times incorporating the quirky psychedelia of mid-to-late-‘60s Donovan and Harry Nilsson (“Picture,” “Genevieve”) along with some of the ornate textures of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys (“On A Summer Day”) and the finessed riffage of early-’70s George Harrison (“Easier”).

On some level maybe it’s tempting to question, if the Red Button’s retro sound so closely recalls that of any number of classic artists, why not then just stick with those? Swirsky and Ruekberg are no doubt aware of their influences and, in turn, of the comparisons they draw. But these guys are serious, and seriously talented musicians. Besides, instantly memorable melodies have never been easy for songwriters to come by; and the knack The Red Button display in having crafted the ones that grace As Far As Yesterday Goes cannot be underestimated and shouldn’t be overlooked. Highly recommended.

 

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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Joan Armatrading, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.