They label themselves as "Pat Metheny meets Chaka Khan" and that's about as good a description as I could give. daysahead is a duo consisting of rock/jazz guitarist Steve Wright and Gospel/Soul vocalist Kim Leachman. They may, at first blush, look like a Tuck and Patti-type act, but one listen their eclectic, engaging brand of music shows that this is an original group bursting with its own distinct style that incorporates many elements of rock, jazz and R&B. Based in Atlanta, daysahead is another impressive young act making its mark on that city's vibrant musical scene.
Supported by drummer James Barrett and bassist Myron Carroll, among others, Wright and Leachman have released Turning Point, a debut album that is as unusual as it is engaging. Using Wright's electric guitar as the musical centerpiece (there are no keyboards on the album), daysahead explores a variety of musical styles, one after another. So melodic rock cuts like "You Move Me" and "Love is Love" are countered by tender soul ballads such as "For the Love" and jazzy midtempos like "Good Ole Days" and "Don't Fall Too Fast." The album covers a wide enough territory that it occasionally makes it difficult to establish a consistent mood for the listener, but the common theme that holds it all together is the strong instrumentation and the "live" feel of the performance. The band is top notch and keeps the whole album sounding immediate, even on the slow songs. Special kudos also to Leachman, a wonderful smoky-voiced singer who handles the varied material well, especially shining on the more soulful cuts.
daysahead comes out of the box as a talented, original young group and Turning Point as a great showcase for their expansive vision of popular music. Recommended.
by Chris Rizik