New Release Rack: Sandy McKnight & the Idea’s “What Did You Expect?”

February 4th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Sandy McKnight: What Did You Expect?

CD review by Allison Gregory

A mixture of surf, ’60s rock ‘n’ roll and folk revival, ballads and a hint of smooth jazz, country-rock, and waltzes – what an idea!

Sandy McKnight & the Idea’s album What Did You Expect? (released in late October, 2013) gives the listener a large range of styles over 12 tracks which mesh perfectly together. From the opener “Never Miss a Trick” to the closer “Setting the World on Fire,” you’ll be hooked on this idea. Because of its catchy melody and chorus, “Never Miss a Trick” will get you hooked right at the start of this album. With a surf and pop-inspired sound and four-part harmony by Liv Cummins, Jennifer Bennett, Dave Labrecque and Craig Hazen, you’ll be singing along in no time. With Johnny Easy completing the live line-up, what else would you expect from a cast of experienced musicians like the ones Sandy McKnight brought together?

“Someone.” a catchy and lyrical song, covers up the pain and struggle of the people in the song with a light-hearted sound. By going from a soft, cheerful sound during the verses to a harder rock sound during the chorus and interludes, it accentuates the deeper meaning of the lyrics. Former David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick also makes a cameo on this song playing guitar and the enthralling and gripping fuzz guitar solo.

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CD: Sandy McKnight’s “How I Changed the World”

October 8th, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg

Sandy McKnight: How I Changed The World(22 Records, 2010):

Wow! This is one seriously massive undertaking.

Singer-songwriter-producer-etc. Sandy McKnight has dug through his vaults to put together a best-of compilation of his work throughout the years. But this is no ordinary compilation.

It’s a whopping three-CD set that features a total of 66 songs. And these discs ain’t skimpy, either. Clocking in at 69 minutes and 47 seconds, disc one (dubbed “The Hits”) is the shortest of the three. And, oh yeah, the set also includes a fourth disc that features 60-page digital booklet with all kinds of liner notes and photos. It’s all neatly wrapped up in a nifty, 12×12-inch, vinyl album-like package.


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Be Here Now: Sandy McKnight’s CD Release Party @ American Glory, 6/27/10

June 25th, 2010, 2:01 pm by Greg

Sandy McKnightVeteran power-popster Sandy McKnight is celebrating the release of his new album, “How I Changed the World” with a party at American Glory in Hudson at 1pm on Sunday. Admission is free.

But this isn’t just another CD; it’s a real whopper.

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Songwriting with Sandy McKnight

February 22nd, 2010, 2:16 pm by Greg

Sandy McKnightSongwriter, musician, producer Sandy McKnight is once again offering a songwriting workshop at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Open to all levels of songwriters from beginners to pros, the three-hour class takes place at 7pm on Thursdays beginning this week and runs for six weeks. Cost is $125.

But wait, there’s more news from the world of McKnight…

The singer-songwriter – who was last heard from taking on the nom de rock Effington Dupp III as the leader of the “virtual band” the Ragamuffins of Love – is currently gearing up for the release of “How I Changed the World,” a whopping 66-song, 3-CD compilation. The 30-year retrospective – which includes two brand new songs – isn’t slated for release until June 15, but if you pre-order a copy right now, you’ll get a special deal which includes a 20 percent discount, bonus tracks, a special thanks in the liner notes and an autographed copy of the set.

Woodstock books: rockin’ & readin’

August 14th, 2009, 2:47 pm by Greg

Naturally enough, there have been dozens of new books hitting the shelves in the past couple of weeks in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

There are two especially interesting books on the fest that both have local Nippertown connections, and fittingly both of them are first-person, oral histories of the event – because, of course, just about everyone who attended the fest has their story to tell about it.

woodstock-coverJoel Makower‘s “Woodstock: The Oral History” was originally published two decades ago in celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary. The new 40th anniversary edition has been published by Excelsior Editions, a division of the Albany-based State University of New York Press.

Back in 1988, Makower criss-crossed the country to conduct face-to-face interviews with more than 70 festival participants – musicians, the producers, local residents, tech and backstage personnel and, of course, the fans. When the original edition was published, Rolling Stone magazine called it “the definitive story of the mega-concert.”

The new edition includes new forewords by co-producers Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman, but it’s Makower’s original interviews that are the real reason to celbrate the fact that this book is back in print again.

woodstockRevisitedMeanwhile, “Woodstock Revisited” (published by Adams Media) is saddled with the subtitle, “50 far-out, groovy, peace-loving, flashback-inducing stories from those who were there.” Edited by Susan Reynolds, the book focuses on the fans, allowing those who attended the fest the opportunity to write about their own private (and public) experiences during the three days of peace, love and rock & roll.

The reminiscences are short – generally about four or five pages long – and yet it seems that nearly all of the contributors saw the fest from a different perspective, which makes for fascinating reading.

And one of the 50 contributors is Sandy McKnight – local musician-songwriter who plays in the “virtual band” the Ragamuffins of Love and operates the non-profit Columbia Arts Team in Hudson.

At 1:30pm Monday, August 17, editor Susan Reynolds and a dozen others contributors – including McKnight – will be on hand for a two-hour reading, Q&A session and book-signing at the Museum at Bethel Woods’ Events Gallery. Admission is free but admission tickets – available here – are required.

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