Music > Scorpio and Me > Scorpio and Me Reviews > Ed Muitjens, Johnny's Garden (The Netherlands) - December 14, 2010 Monday, 01. March 2021, 19:22

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Ed Muitjens, Johnny's Garden (The Netherlands) - December 14, 2010

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Ed Muitjens, Johnny's Garden (The Netherlands) - December 14, 2010

Reviewed by Ed Muitjens

I once saw a documentary about John Hiatt from which it emerged that, in his career as a freelance artist, at one time he worked as a songwriter for some company. The songwriters, including Hiatt, went every day to "work" and in their small rooms, with no more than a pen, tried to write that hit all at one table. A true music factory as it were and it was impressive to see.

Bennett Brier, a member of The Nashville Songwriters Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI), is also a songwriter. If he was a "hack" when Hiatt was is doubtful. His biography states that over 30 years time he has written about 150 songs. That comes to about 5 per year. Therefore, he is not really a "hack". But Bennett Brier is not a full time musician. He has a "normal" job and has 150 songs in different stages. Some of these songs are on his debut album "Anthem" from 1999 and now appear another fourteen songs on "Scorpio and Me".  The CD was self-released.

Remarkably, Bennett Brier is not heard on this CD as a musician/singer.  He wrote the songs and is the "executive" producer. Producer Jay Sims performs the vocals and plays guitar while Stephen Doster plays solo guitar on this CD.  Sims is a reasonably good singer who is not always in tune; nonetheless his voice shows enough character to carry the songs. Doster's guitar playing is just really nice.

What can you expect from the songs? The CD opens strong with the title track and Bennett Brier knows how to write a good song. Still, this CD does not completely hit me because it lacks diversity and originality.  Many of the songs have the same pace with which you use to occasionally sit to watch a bit of finger picking or something.  And on the strong and beautiful a song "Free Your Little Boy" Doster uses exactly the same notes as the opening track. This gave me the feeling that I am listening to a CD whose songs are sometimes interchangeable. Thus the number of tracks on this album is too much.

Again, "Scorpio and Me" is not a bad CD.  But it's not a great one.  For me, it's a pretty good CD and there will certainly be music lovers who will appreciate this CD differently than I do. Perhaps listening first before buying a (actually redundant because the motto is always listening) is the best advice I can give.