Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Covell’

Operation EncoreSeveral years ago, an organization called Operation: Encore, A Veteran Music Project came into being. The Operation: Encore organization exists as a place for currently enlisted, separated and ex-military personnel, as well as their spouses to find peace of mind during and after active duty.

During its time in existence, Operation: Encore has already helped many soldiers and their families. And the result of the encouragement that has come from the organization are several different musical releases that feature members of the organization itself. Members such as soldiers Steve D. Wilson, Andrew Wiscombe and Stephen Covell all have albums that they are promoting while they also represent Operation: Encore. Military spouse Rachel Harvey Hill has also released an album of music.

Doug LaneAnd now to add to that list of ever-growing releases (which also includes TWO compilation albums from the organization itself), Doug Lane, a Texas native and current resident of Provo, Utah, has self-released his first single under the moniker of The Real Doug Lane.

As part of the military, Doug Lane had been a part of the Army in the 1st Armored Division. He had been stationed in Germany and deployed in Baghdad. Lane served two tours between 2000 and 2004. During that time, he played the saxophone in the military band; although that was not his first taste of music. And it was while he was deployed that he met his wife of fifteen years.

No longer part of the military, Doug Lane’s civilian job finds him in the Information Technology field where he works as an IT Systems Engineer. And now, ever since gaining the encouragement of Operation: Encore, Lane is now pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter. And that musical career just took a step in the right direction with the release of Lane’s first single. The new single from The Real Doug Lane is entitled “Outlaws, Lovers and Home”.

“Outlaws, Lovers and Home” from The Real Doug Lane contains a gentle Folk-Rock feel to the music. The inclusion of the mandolin on the track brings out the Folk influence to the music while also adding to the easy feel of the track. Like many of the tracks that have come out of the Operation: Encore concept, “Outlaws, Lovers and Home” from The Real Doug Lane consists of lyrics that deal with things that have happened in Lane’s real life after his time in the military. But in this case, the lyrics are very relatable as many of us can find ourselves thinking about things we miss after moving away from the place we used to call home. The track’s lyrics deal with some of the things that Lane misses since he moved out of Texas to build a life for himself and his family in Utah. The slow pace to the music as well as the gentle feel that comes from the mandolin seems to add just a little sadness to Lane’s lyrics as well as his vocals that truly bring the song to life.

While it’s only one track, “Outlaws, Lovers and Home” from The Real Doug Lane gives a good indication of the talent that lies within the singer-songwriter. And this is only the first of several songs from Lane as he is in the process of creating a new EP that will be released in early 2018.

To check out “Outlaws, Lovers and Home” from The Real Doug Lane, click HERE.

For more music from The Real Doug Lane, check out his track from the Operation: Encore album of Monuments called “Faces“.  

 

For more reading about the music from the various members of the organization called Operation Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments, as well as the album reviews for Rachel Harvey HillAndrew Wiscombe, Steve D. Wilson and for Stephen Covell

stephencovell3For the last dozen years or so, Stephen Covell has been creating music. The Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter has been creating music that is deeply influenced by Folk-Rock. The Folk-Rock style goes well with the writer’s storyteller side of his personality. Because of that, the songs that Covell writes seem very close to stories set to music.

Some of the songs that Stephen Covell includes on his releases have a slight reference to the military in them. That is because Stephen Covell spends part of his time as a musician performing his own material and at other times, Covell is one of the active members of an organization called Operation: Encore, A Veteran Music Project. Operation: Encore is very close to Covell’s heart as the organization helps to support current or ex-military members who are looking for something to do outside of the military world that so many are part of.

As a part of the military, Stephen Covell was a U.S. Army combat medic. As a musician, some of Covell’s songs are very deeply steeped in the civilian mindset; the mindset of enjoying time while back on American soil.

As part of Operation: Encore, Stephen Covell has written several songs that have made their way onto the two current releases that help to promote the music of the artists that are part of the organization. In fact, one of Covell’s tracks ended up becoming the title track of the group’s newest release called Monuments. And along with “Monuments,” one other track from those two compilations is now included in Covell’s newest CD, a five-song EP called Longing for the Hills.

Longing for the Hills by Stephen Covell begins with the track “Ruled by You”. A Rock and Roll track that features an easy, Folk-like pace to the music, “Ruled By You” is a track that finds Covell creating a song that comes across as a love song. The easy pace to the music and the emotional feel of the lyrics helps create a track that feels ready-made for the radio. In fact, “Ruled by You” has enough of a Folk feel to the music that the song seems to have a slight twang to it, making it perfect for “crossover” potential for both Country and Pop-rock radio formats.

The new EP from Stephen Covell continues with the song “We Guards Stood Our Watch”. One of the more personal tracks on the release, “We Guards Stood Our Watch” finds Covell asking why others get to enjoy themselves when those on duty choose to keep watch? The music to the track features a much softer feel to the music. In fact, the almost orchestral feel to the music adds both a slight gentleness to the track and an emotional tug at the heart, as well.

Stephen Covell includes the first of the two Operation: Encore compilation tracks next. Having been included on the organization’s first release, the track “Sand Hills to Sandals” is the perfect track, lyrically, to follow “We Guards Stood Our Watch”. Like the track before it, “Sand Hills to Sandals” deals with military life. However, with this track, Covell focuses on the more upbeat and positive side of life as he sings about being home from overseas and being able to enjoy the things he could not enjoy while on duty; things like going to the beach. While the track does offer a happier side to life than “We Guards Stood Our Watch,” Covell also mentions more sober things like dedicating a toast to those who never made it home. The music to “Sand Hills to Sandals” is once again rather laidback in its nature. The folk music seems to have the best choice for accompanying the semi-sweet lyrics to the track. While “Sand Hills to Sandals” is one of the more laidback tracks on Longing for the Hills, it’s also one of the strongest tracks on the release.

Following the first of the Operation: Encore compilation tracks on Stephen Covell’s new release is the second one entitled “Monuments”. This is the track that was chosen as the title track for the 2017 release from the organization. “Monuments” from Stephen Covell is the hardest rocking track on the singer-songwriter’s new album. Like the other tracks on the five-song release, “Monuments” contains a strong folk influence to the music by way of things like the addition of the mandolin. However, this track finds Covell and the other musicians who helped create the EP adding a lot of Rock and Roll feel to the music. The track comes across as something that may have recorded by The Eagles. The Pop-Rock style of the music on the track makes the song one of the most commercial moments on the release. “Monuments” could easily be the single off of the release. Stephen Covell changes directions completely for the final track on the five-song EP.

The final track of Monuments, “Winter of My Soul,” is an Eric Clapton-inspired track that features a slow-paced Blues-flavored approach. The track includes some very Bluesy guitar playing that would make Clapton proud. While “Winter of My Soul” comes out of nowhere when compared to the rest of the release, the track proves that Stephen Covell has a wide array of influences to draw from. And those helped Covell to create a very strong release from the first note to the last.

His impressive background notwithstanding, Stephen Covell’s new five-song release, Longing for the Hills, is a testimony to the talent that is sometimes hidden within the most unlikely people. And with the five tracks on the new release being different from one song to the next, that talent really shines in this release. Having already released several other albums thus far, this five-song EP would be a great place to discover the talented singer-songwriter named Stephen Covell.

To hear the music of Stephen Covell, check out the song “Monuments“. For more reading about Operation Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments, the review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe and the review of Steve D. Wilson

operationencoreYou never know where or when the desire to become a musician will hit. For some, the desire is always there but only is realized once one phase of their lives has come to an end. Many ex-military personnel have the same dreams of making a living as a musician. And that may mean waiting until leaving military service.

For those musicians currently serving or now discharged from service, there is an organization working with veterans and military alike who wish to make music. That organization is called Operation Encore.

Taking some of the musicians within the organization who create their own music, an album of original music was created that incorporates several styles and genres of music. The resulting release of Americana tunes is simply entitled Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project.

Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project contains music from several singer-songwriters with many contributing more than one track to the release. Because of whom the artists are (or had been), the subject matter for every track is mainly about dealing with life as a soldier. While some of the tracks are sadder than others, each track gives some insight into what the songwriter experiences in their daily life.

The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project release begins with USAF Pilot Rob Raymond’s song entitled “To the Air”. The track features a folk sound with just a little Irish influence to it. The subject matter of a soldier in the depths of battle longing for home is told from several different soldiers’ perspectives as they fight for all they are worth and for those they love. While the subject matter is what it is, the music for the track has a light, upbeat feel to it.

The album continues with one of the most emotional tracks. “Another Trip Around the Sun” from Rachel Harvey Hill is told from the perspective of someone who lives day-to-day to be with the one she loves. The easy feeling of the piano-based music and the emotional lyrics makes for a gentle song with a powerful message.

Stephen Covell seems to be on the same wavelength with Rachel Harvey Hill with his track “Sand Hills to Sandals”. But unlike Hill whose song is about spending time with the one she loves, Covell sings about being able to enjoy life away from the fight and just relax with those he calls friends. The visual of the empty chairs to represent those lost in combat helps to add just a little reminder of what the artists on this album go through every day. The acoustic guitar and light fiddle featured on the track blend together to create an easy folk sound. The track ends up being one of the best songs on the release.

While many of the tracks on The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project seem to have a folk-like sound, the pace changes a bit with Tom Abbott’s track “In Tent City”. The track features an electric guitar that adds some energy to the track. The folk-rock approach on the track goes well with the reflective lyrics about thinking back to the days of combat when the war was coming to an end. The listener can all but see the pictures that Tom Abbott paints with his words.

Some of the songs on the release find the songwriters recalling certain things. But some, like the song from Christopher Kurek, expose some of the pain soldiers feel. In a song that could remind some of the musical style of the Black Crowes, “Never Be the Same” is a track that finds Kurek singing about living with sights and sounds that he will never escape. The track feels very commercial in its sound and is probably the track that could get played on radio. In fact, it would fit right beside several of the songs from the likes of a band like Pink Floyd who delved into that type subject matter.

Another track that could be considered commercial is from Steve Wilson. “Cold Steel Rain” actually feels the most like a simple rock song. The lyrics of the song do contain a certain amount of anguish that could come from someone who was dealing with things like PTSD. But when taken out of the context of this album, the track simply feels like any of Wilson’s songs that he has written for his band of The Black Doves or for his solo material. Like Christopher Kurek’s song of “Never Be the Same,” the folk-rock of Steve Wilson also has a sound that will remind people of the music of The Black Crowes.

The ukulele that begins the track “Lullaby” from Theresa Denofre sets the song apart from any of the other tracks on the Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project release. The song quickly becomes another track that could easily make its way onto radio. The track’s easy tempo and laidback feel would fit alongside songs like “Ordinary Day” from Vanessa Carlton. With this track, Denofre is one artist on this compilation that needs to be heard.

The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project album does a wonderful job of getting the word out about the hidden talent that lies within our military personnel and our veterans. With an album that contains 16 tracks, that are many shining moments. Throughout the tracks on the album, there are lyrics of pain, lyrics of joy, even lyrics about looking back. The various tracks on the album allow the listener to be exposed to plenty of new talent that they may never have heard of before. Give the artists on this album a listen and you might discover someone who catches your ear.

For just one example of the type of music found on the Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project album, click on the link to hear the track “Another Trip Around the Sun” from Rachel Harvey Hill.