It warms my cockles (where they happen to be on my body I'm not so sure) when I see and hear guys like Gary Wright putting out new music. His 10-song CD Connected finds the Dream Weaver in good voice and, at times, making some very pop-friendly R&B. "Satisfied" is a semi-gospel number with that all-too-familiar (and all-too-missed) keyboard sound in the background and Wright's slightly raspy, yet soulful voice rising over the top. There are a few special guests that make the song really move, like Ringo Starr on drums, and Joe Walsh and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on guitars. And that’s only the first song!
"Get Your Hands Up" has an almost Peter Gabriel vibe to it, mostly due to Will Kennedy's superb subtle drumming. This is also where we get the first hint of Wright's prodigious keyboard talents as he plays it out at the end. "Under Your Spell" starts off as a little spacey and morphs into a nice ballad. "Can't Find No Mercy" is highlighted by singers Valerie Pinkston and Lisa Vaughn on the album’s most commercial tune. "Gimme Some Time" finds Wright slipping into Rod Stewart mode, but the real gem on Connected is "Kirra Layne," an emotional ode to the man's daughter. The CD ends with the multi-layered keyboard work of “You Make Me Feel Better,” featuring top-notch harmonies between Wright and…Wright.
If you pick up a deluxe digital version of Connected at iTunes and TheDreamWeaver web site, you'll be treated to two songs connected to Wright's friend George Harrison:. “To Discover Yourself,” co-written with Harrison in 1971 and recorded the day the Beatle guitarist passed away, and “Never Give Up,” recorded in 1989 with Harrison on guitar. As the Spooky Tooth singer himself says: "I named the album Connected because I believe we are all connected with one another, and that our thoughts and actions have a great influence on our planet collectively." This positive and spiritual outlook comes through on every track, maybe to a redundant degree at times. But every good message bears repeating to achieve a bona fide connection. And on that note, Wright scores high.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.