Richard X. Heyman – Actual Sighs

Six years after his last studio album (Basic Glee, reviewed elsewhere on these pages), one of New York’s finest troubadours for more than twenty years now, decides on “setting accounts” with his own past by finally recording a bulk of songs gathering dust in some of his long lost folders, after having been left off his 1986 EP Actual Size because “the money ran out before the tape did”.

Given a fresh breath of air, the dust have been wiped off the 14 tunes, so that they fit Richard’s usual powered-up vintage-influenced sound, such as the usual contemporary Byrdsounding jangle, therefore actually being more in the vein of Back To Rio-era McGuinn (Mr. Murphy’s Son, A Fine Line), occasionally adding a drop of Neil Young-ish mood (All In The Way You Found Me) or so called alternative-country (In A Boxcar) to it, sometimes getting slightlydelic in a similar country-way (Winter Blue).

Also present is some orchestrated upbeat baroque’n’roll, sounding kind of like a Left Banke-like Americana (Kenyon Walls, Without True Love), and rarely so, he also takes the “mystery train” towards almost classic r’n’b roots (Twelve Bars And I Still Have The Blues), even throwing in some rare headbangin’ hard-rawking AD/DC riffs, complete with a full-on Bon Scott vocal impersonation (RXH’s Love In The First Person Blues).

As a special bonus, also included are the just as brand new re-recordings of all the original Actual Size EP tracks, including the hit-single-(still)-in-the-waiting Hoosier, already given a re-freshing treatment five years ago (on the Heyman, Hoosier & Herman mini album, also reviewed elsewhere on these pages), with the lead vocals being provided by none other than Peter Noone, that is Herman himself.

[Released by Turn-Up 2006]

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