Bruce Von Stiers
Roger Cairns is kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Over the length of his almost six decades on this planet, he has worked in Scottish mines, been on North Sea oil rigs, installed television antennas in England and even served up refreshments to the Beatles. But one thing that remained constant in all of this. Roger sang. And sang well. He sang on a BBC show, fronted a couple of musical groups and even used the stage name of John Laine for a while. Hopping across the pond, Roger ended up in L.A. Having garnered a place in the Dirk Fisher Big Band, Roger has performed with them since the early ‘90's.
But now Roger has turned yet another page. He has recorded a solo album. This album is titled, appropriately enough, A Scot In L.A. Lasting just under an hour, the album has 13 songs. Roger produced the album along with Gary Fukushima.
This album features Larry Koonse, Darek Olse and Joe LaBarbera. Larry is on guitar, Darek on bass and Joe does the drums on several tracks. There is also Matt Otto on tenor sax, Brian McLaughlin on drums for some of the songs, Roger McGillicuddy on bass and Gary Fukuhsima on piano. There is even John Massie on bagpipes for one of the songs. And of course, there is Roger on all of the songs, doing the vocals.
The songs on the album are pretty subtle and easy. There are a few songs that move around a bit, but for the most part the album is soft.
The first song is one of those that move around a bit. The song is We've Got A World That Swings. A lot of people have done this song over the years. Looking this up, I even found a reference to the song as a number done in the original Nutty Professor film with Jerry Lewis. Whereas Roger doesn't sound like the Buddy Love character from that movie, his vocals on this song are really good.
Never Let Me Go is the second song on the album. An easy song, it has a great sax solo. Roger's vocals are smooth. Roger also does a pretty good job with Leonard Bernstein's Lonely Town .
Roger has included a Gershwin song that I really like, Things Are Looking Up. Not only does Roger do a great job with the vocals, there is some terrific sax and bass work.
You're A Lady, You Better Go Now and Flamingo are also really good songs on the album.
Roger ends the album with an old Scottish tune, Good Night and Joy Be Wi' Ye A'. This is a pretty neat song that features bagpipes. I guess that Roger wanted to make sure that we were truly aware of his Scottish roots. His inflections sounded appropriate for the type of song this is.
Roger Cairns gives a good performance on this album. His vocals are solid and the musicians that back him up do a decent job. If you like male crooners, then you might want to check out Roger Cairns.
Roger has samples from the album on his web site. You will find that site at www.rogercairns.com .
© 2006 Bruce E Von Stiers