The Reviews...


Backstage in South Florida: Catching Up With the Livesays on Bruce Springsteen, Foghat, and Rose Colored Glasses
Broward/Palm Beach New Times {Feb. 2012}
by Lee Zimmerman

Livesay's pop influences are all too obvious. Taking its cue from the Beatles, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Maroon 5, and Train, the album reflects a classic-rock sensibility that draws on radio-ready hooks, well-brewed arrangements, and songs that quickly sink into the consciousness even on first hearing. The title track strikes an immediate boisterous impression, while the sentimental ballad "I Waited Too Long" tugs at the heartstrings. What's more, the band's remake of the Byrds' "My Back Pages" is a close contender for what may well be the best cover of this classic ever recorded.

"I am a classic-rock/pop guy," Livesay says. And with the aptly titled Rose Colored Glasses, he proves adept at mining his muse.

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Clarence Clemons' Guitarist Billy Livesay Returns Home
New Times Magazine by Travis Newbill 12/09/11

"After a dozen years trotting the globe with the late saxophonist Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) and Foghat's Tony Stevens, guitarist Billy Livesay is settling back into his South Florida-based life, jamming with his longtime rock project The Livesays. That band, which formed back in 1996, is celebrating the release of its first official album in 15 years, Rose Colored Glasses, Saturday evening at Boston's in Delray Beach. And on the eve of that event, they will be opening for Kansas at Mizner Park in Boca."
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Concert and New CD Release by The Livesays
MusicMiami.Org by Frank Prieto 12/04/11

"What I recommend is you listen to them because these guys ROCK!"
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BILLY LIVESAY: Rocking With A Passion And Staying In The Now
Metro Music Mayhem by David Jacobs 11/01/11

"Billy brings many musical flavors and colors to his always heartfelt and well crafted songs."
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In the News ...

5 STAR REVIEW of The Livesays' "Rose Colored Glasses"
MUSIC NEWS NASHVILLE {April 2012}
by Janet Goodman

South Florida pop/rock band The Livesays deserves to be heard on a national stage. Locals have known this to be so since their inception in 1996. The quintet of seasoned veteran musicians has got the radio-ready mojo going on – a chemistry and sound that are all at once comfortably familiar and walking the edge of “Who is THAT?”

Led by Billy Livesay, longtime lead singer and guitarist for the late Clarence Clemons’ band Temple of Soul, whose soulful, smoky rasp and vocal range are nothing short of killer, the group has recorded their latest album, “Rose Colored Glasses,” released by Echo XS Entertainment. Twelve of the thirteen tracks are written or co-written by the singer, with one cool cover – Dylan’s “My Back Pages.” This record oozes talent, from the solid musicianship to memorably commercial melodies to dead-on rock arrangements by Livesay.

First thing that’s clear here is his story-telling ability. This raconteur knows how to wring emotion out of every sung syllable, and his lyrics are a-bloom with imagery. In “I Waited Too Long” – a moving tale of regret – Livesay brings us into his world: “I tilt my head when I look in the mirror/I look like my father or so I’ve been told/I wanted to see him, reach out and touch him/But I was a secret and that was so long ago.” A tortured electric guitar and music breakdown on the final chorus, as well as not-so blatant, ticking clock-like drumming, all add to the drama of the scene.

We witness the slow death of a marriage in “Little Wars,” and an intimate moment between lovers in the sexy Latin-tinged “Until You Kissed Me Like That.” “Riding Fences” offers up an eerie piano riff, while stand-out track “Sentimental Fool” has a smooth chorus melody and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics about being “hopped up on romance”: “Wake me, shake me, don’t let me sleep/Cause I’m feeling too good today/I found love when I thought that there was none/And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Eddie Zyne on drums, Jorge Laplume on bass, Cuqui Berrios on Hammond organ and Tim Murphy on piano round out this dynamic rock band. “Rose Colored Glasses” ought to be on “Best Of” lists everywhere.

See the article here:
www.musicnewsnashville.com/the-livesays-rose-colored-glasses

 

On the Air ...

Review of The Livesays' "Rose Colored Glasses" Jan 2012
by Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England)  

The Livesays - Rose Colored Glasses (ECHOXS) The Livesays are fronted by vocalist-guitarist-songwriter Billy Livesay who, for twelve years, toured with Clarence Clemons' band Temple of Soul, cutting a couple of albums and sharing stages with the great and the good. He can also be found playing in Slow Ride with original Foghat bassist Tony Stevens. That's some resume, and on "Rose Colored Glasses" Livesay illustrates just why other musicians seek him out.

The band, which also includes drummer Eddie Zyne (Hall and Oates, the Monkees, Rick Derringer, Foghat and many others) are based in Florida, but it's no surprise that it's to the New Jersey shoreline they take their inspiration. Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny are both easy reference points as the band whip up a blues-groove, rock `n' soul vibe that's topped by Livesay's sandpaper croon.

There's no doubting any of the performances on "Rose Colored Glasses". They open proceedings with the title track, a big song with Livesay and the band providing so much energy. When they slow things down on tracks like "I Waited Too Long" and "Until You Kissed Me Like That" they're just as intense. They end the record with a muscular version of Dylan's "My Back Pages", a song covered by many, including fine versions by The Byrds and Steve Earle. This one's up there with the best of them.




Review of The Livesays' "Rose Colored Glasses" Nov 2011
by Kevin Burns, owner, The Talent Farm 

"I listened to the album today. Then I listened again in the car. Then again at the studio tonight. I can't help but to say it was one of the most enjoyable albums I've heard in a long while. Everything was perfectly laid out sonically, and while I'm really impressed with Billy's soulful voice (think Glen Frye/Rod Stewart), I take my hat off to his guitar virtuosity. The man rips, shreds, and tears it apart like no other. His guitar licks are tasty and well though out. Obviously, a testament to his many years of playing with the major players of our time. Overall, the album rings true to my ears... But the lyrics (especially Little Wars) shows a maturity that can only be gained by a lifetime of experience. That being said, I think I have a new favorite CD! Well worth checking out!"



Review of The Livesays' "Rose Colored Glasses" Feb 2012
by Gary Gone, operator, IndepenDisc Radio Station (New Haven, CT)  

The Asbury Park sound is the Rose Colored Glasses of Rock-n-Roll. It’s immediately distinct feel-good Rock-n-Roll on a grand stage that gives life to even the direst of circumstances. Bruce Springsteen gave it a voice, showed how blue-collar life could be as satisfying as any life, if you could just find the pleasantness of reality; to look at, perceive, understand, and appreciate the world through Rose Colored Glasses.

15 years after The Livesay’s 1st release, “Little Bit of Hurt,” (which this reviewer called “Solid Asbury Park”), Billy Livesay (guitars, lead vocals) returns with Eddie Zyne (drums), and old friends/new members Jorge Laplume (bass), Victor “Cuqui” Berrios (Hammond organ, vocals), and Tim Murphy (piano, vocals). Rose Colored Glasses, the resulting sophomore effort, displays the professionalism of Billy’s 12 years touring as the lead guitarist/singer of Clarence Clemon’s Temple of Soul, the many National/professional acts that the accompanying line-up can accredit to their resumes, and the ability to apply the Asbury Park sound as the Rose Colored Glasses worn with the maturity of someone who looks at, perceives, and understands the dogma of life and reaches out to let us know it can be appreciated.

The semi-autobiographical title track opens the album with a heartfelt tale of hope – typical blue-collar, single, working mom and the effects her dating life has on her wondrous child. The great keyboard work and Classic E-Street band arrangements lay the groundwork for these 13 songs of anthem proportion, bringing to mind not only the storytelling of The Boss himself, but also, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, Jon Bon Jovi, and all the others whose arena rock vibe so closely aligns with the voice of the Asbury Park everyman.

What follows is a testament of life - missed opportunities (I Waited Too Long), divorce (Little Wars), and all the emotions that fall in-between, underneath, and on top of love. Starting with, and centered around, Until You Kissed Me Like That – A flowing tale of sexual attraction that pronounces the heightened awareness of love and awakens the inner senses in a tango-esque mambo of foreplay and joyous baring of the soul. This is how we all fell in love, every time – and this is the music/song(s) that we did it to.

Continuing on this theme, The Livesays bring the power and passion of love through songs of reflection (Riding Fences, Sentimental Fool, I Couldn’t Be), acknowledgement (Someone Like You), and good times/fun (Malibu Bleach Blond, Shake It Up) with a deep rooted, personal meaning that anyone who has fallen in, and out, of love (again and again) is sure to identify, connect, and sing along with.

In an effort to acknowledge the reality of life when not looking through Rose Colored Glasses, Billy concludes this pleasant journey with 3 songs that give even more significance to the joyous ride we’ve just taken – Somebody is the encore with a solid arena-rock backbeat that has us pumping our fists to the passionate plea of (every)ones desire to be somebody - to be the one that she/he wants, needs, - Loves, because our dreams are who we are.

The album could end there and we’d be filing out of the show on a euphoric high to last for days, but The Livesays come back with Diamonds In The Rough. A song that seemingly is another appeal for recognition of the dream, but comes through more as an ode/tribute to Billy’s old friend Clarence Clemons (you can almost hear the Big Man’s horn swooning in Billy’s lead guitar at the end). By immediately following this with a spot-on rendition of Robert Zimmerman’s My Back Pages we’re brought full circle to understand that this album was made possible by Billy’s ability to embrace the Rose Colored Glasses of the Asbury Park sound in order to allow us an escape from the harshness of reality, but also to realize that you do not have to remove those glasses in order to survive, in fact, it is precisely those glasses that allow us the maturity to look at, perceive, understand, and appreciate the pleasantness of the world, life, love, and dreams.

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Review of The Livesays' "Faith, Hope and Love" June 2014
by Chuck Dauphin - Music News Nashville

The Livesays are a Rock & Roll band from Miami that love to turn up the volume and the tempo. That being said, the group also has another strength – strong lyrics. So, not only do you get some eloquent melodies on this disc, but you also get some thought-provoking material that will no doubt make an impact on you as a listener.

That is apparent from the start of Faith, Hope, and Love – with the Springsteen-ish “You Don’t Know Me.” Call it Rock Music for the Thinking Man. We just prefer to call it dang good. Other top-drawer moments include the blues-laden “Hit Parade,” which will knock you right between the eyes with its’ dramatic flair – and then, there’s the poppy sheen of “Endless Summer,” which brings to mind some of the best 80s and 90s moments on Pop and AC radio.

All throughout the album, lead singer Billy Livesay leads the charge – and the band- comprised of Tim Murphy, Cuqui Berrios, Eddie Zyne, and Jorge Laplume each do their part to insure that this record comes off as cohesively as possible. To be honest. they even make it look easy – and downright fun!

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Review of The Livesays' "Faith, Hope and Love" May 2014
by Lee Zimmerman ~ New Times 

The Livesays is clearly one of the hardest working bands in South Florida, not only due to the fact that they gig consistently, but also owing to its consistent releases. The band's new effort, aptly titled Faith, Hope and Love, provides an ongoing example of those efforts, but as namesake William Livesay explains, it didn't come without its challenges.

"It's special just in the fact that we made it," he admits. "That in itself is an accomplishment for any self-funded independent group." Each of its songs was inspired by real life circumstance -- some of it quite turbulent (his mother's experience as a battered woman, a wife from Pennsylvania who decided to leave her family and start life anew, those he knew facing lie-threatening illnesses, a dashed first marriage). "When you consider the painstaking process from pen to disc. It's special because of the history behind it... It being a personal dedication to my close friend Mario and the people with deal with life changing illnesses every day," Livesay explains.

But he is quick to focus on its musical achievements as well. 

"The band was able to imprint more of its personality on this record. There is a chemistry and camaraderie between us which is obvious when we perform live. We're accepted everywhere we play and I'm deeply proud of that. We always connect, and that's part of the process that keeps the songs evolving. We try to keep the music real, with real instrumentation. We try to keep it organic. We always try to record with the premise that we'll be able to duplicate live what we do on our recordings."

Indeed, the band -- Livesay (lead vocals, guitars), Eddie Zyne (drums, percussion), Victor "Cuqui" Berrios (organ, vocals), Tim Murphy (piano, vocals), Jorge Laplume (bass) -- has clearly outdone itself this time around. Bursting with vibrant, anthemic melodies, Faith, Hope and Love is unerringly infectious from start to finish, a set of songs that recalls Bruce Springsteen in its call to arms and Rick Springfield in its obvious accessibility.

Nevertheless, as Livesay is quick to point out, South Florida isn't exactly the most nurturing locale when it comes to bands willing to offer up something of their own creation. "Because we live in an area that isn't particularly original-music friendly, in order to do longer shows which are typically at places that only hire cover bands, we mix our original music with our own twist on classic covers that fit our style and genre. It's important to us to maintain our original integrity."

By Livesay's own admission, that in itself can be a challenge. "The South Florida music scene is alive, but a little sick. You really have to search for the good. There are some promising artists and venues, but because of the almost nonexistent original scene, it takes an artist longer to develop unless they travel and hone their craft, or just perform constantly by playing the clubs. There are only a handful of venues that are original music friendly and that compensate the artist fairly. We're fortunate that established venues that predominantly book cover bands -- Boston's on the Beach in Delray, Blue Jean Blues in Fort Lauderdale, the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Will Call in Miami, and Hard Rock in Hollywood -- all have us in regular rotation and actually appreciate out original material."

Livesay accepts the challenge every budding band faces in South Florida. And yet, it doesn't blunt his determination. "I'll never truly be where I want to be," he admits. "I think that's what keeps us moving forward: Trying to find that connection with the listener, whoever he or she may be."

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