The Great Affairs declare their greatness..
Music, like food, is always best made with love. It doesn’t have to follow a recipe. It’s a bit of this and a bit of that. It’s about care and attention and instinct. It’s about joy in the process as well as the results.
There’s no doubt at all that Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt, the latest release from Nashville’s The Great Affairs – their follow-up to 2018’s Ten & 2 – has been made with a whole lot of love. That, and the cool hands of pros with obvious faith in their craft.
What we have here is end-to-end quality and style – if, after the first few faultless numbers, you’re fearing the disappointment of an empty-calorie filler you needn’t worry: it never comes.
Sure, there are instantly recognisable ingredients – a splash of Cheap Trick here, a twist of Tom Petty there, a glug of Americana and a dash of classic rock – but whatever’s in the mix is beside the point. What matters is the care that’s been taken with the overall balance.
There’s clever, commercial pop-rock. There’s easy, breezy blues. There’s acoustic, there’s gospel, there are down-tempo numbers that will speak volumes to newly-fractured hearts. But this is no eclectic experiment: the end product is wholesome, satisfying and oh-so-good for the soul.
Even more impressive is the fact that the ten tracks here were completed via remote recording sessions during lockdown. You would never be able to tell: there’s a real sheen to the finish – the band enlisted the expertise of Grammy award-winning mixer and engineer Michael Saint-Leon, along with Joshua Ketchmark – yet the production holds on to the spontaneous chemistry of a band that, in normal times, no doubt sets stages ablaze.
Opener I’m Alright is the punched-up pop of early Heartbreakers with the quirkiness of Fountains of Wayne, frontman Denny Smith sounding a little Robin Zander (in his non-snarly range). It’s an up-tempo slice of perfect radio fare that’s nonetheless spliced with searing guitar. From that to the jangly, light-touch tunefulness of Believe in Ghosts, the effortless style of Lyvia, and the sheer confidence of High on Rose – all cuts with the melodic certainty of the Goo Goo Dolls but with the power aimed squarely in your face.
Of real note are the slow-burning tearjerkers In the Wreckage – gorgeous acoustic meets just a touch of electric – and Worn Out Souls, perhaps founded on more traditional melodic rock, where Smith’s vocals are more towards the liquid gold of Lou Gramm and the whole thing just swells and swells until it maxes out in almost unbearable follicle-quivering anguish. It’s a beautiful thing.
But so as not to over-egg the emotion, we also have more straightforward, balmy Americana in the form of Satellite, which coasts effortlessly along on its understated riff, triggering visions of summer festivals and everything being right with the world.
You can feel the love in every track.
This is a band who know exactly who they are and where they come from.
And therein lies their greatness.
WildSide Music, UK
January 22, 2021
THE GREAT AFFAIRS - ‘EVERYBODY MOVES, NOBODY GETS HURT’
Nashville-based act The Great Affairs had put out a batch of self-released CDs prior to dropping their first album on a label, ‘Ten & 2’ via Kivel Records in 2018. It saw the group take on a more Rock guitar orientated sound, likely influenced by their cover EP ‘Six Pack’ which featured their takes on songs by the likes of Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac.
“I’m Alright” kicks things off in fine style, a driving Rock anthem with a solid chorus, before the jangly vibe of “Believe In Ghosts” carries you away. “Lyvia” is more of a breezy Indie Rock effort which suits vocalist Denny Smith to a tee. The crunching riff work of “High On Rose” is a particular highlight, and the group show their knack at more gentle material with the acoustic based “In The Wreckage”.
Whether the group are doing mellow efforts like “Worn Out Souls”, commercial fare like “Satellite”, or cranking it up on “The Ride”, they do it well. The material here is well-crafted and performed with skill, making ‘Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt’ an enjoyable experience.
"Classic American rock 'par excellence' emanates from Nashville's The Great Affairs; think hooky choruses and guitar lines, classy songwriting, top-notch arrangements and fine musicianship. Tinges of Tom Petty, Bad Company, Black Crowes and Cheap Trick can all be found in the bands new 'Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt' album which houses ten tracks of polished, catchy tunes perfectly designed for radio play and (when we can get back out there) the car (preferably with the hood down) stereo. If classic rock is your thing, then this album would fit perfectly next to the names above in your CD / record racks."
Ballroom Blitz, UK
January 6, 2021
Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt
The Great Affairs are an incredibly powerful, straight forward, rock and roll with some southern and blues roots band. Their new album “Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt” will fall on your ears like a gravy on a biscuit. Traditional style songwriting and a raw, big band sound. This album should tickle your fancy if you love the classics like the Stones, Black Crowes, Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, and all things down right dirty.
“I’m Alright” is a hell of an opener with a great rhythm section, having that Tom Petty vibe, straight forward melodies. They fill the recording nicely with key sections, multi part guitar rhythm sections, and catchy vocals. A song about heartbreak, this is a great way to introduce you to the material that is coming ahead. The mix is sick, with that left pan/right pan retro style. The extra percussion and big multi background vocals will have you singing along and feeling like you are at the show.
Another stand out track on the album is “Lyvia.” I love this tune because it reminds me of the music I grew up listening to on the radio. It has that J. Geils vibe with that nostalgic style of painting stories with words about the hope of love and they execute it nicely.
“Satellite” is another favorite tune of mine off of this album. It has the nuances of the Eagles and a southern vibe. The lyrics are great and the slide guitar and traditional chords soothe you into a great song. These guys are master songwriters and demonstrate it nicely with this melody. The harmonica work is phenomenal and it compliments the mix nicely.
I may be a metal head, but I love a great fucking rock band. This album has dashes of new wave, blues, southern rock, and that arena friendly vibe of 38 Special. This is an excellent listen and I am so happy I got this today. This is a breath of fresh air that needs to be dosed on the rock world desperately.
February 9, 2021
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REVIEW: THE GREAT AFFAIRS – EVERYBODY MOVES, NOBODY GETS HURT (2020)
October 31, 2020
When I was doing some research (honestly, I do!) before writing this, I went on to The Great Affairs website. I wish I hadn’t bothered.
That’s no reflection on the band – or indeed this record, which is superb – but, well. I’ll explain.
See, “Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt” has been out for a few weeks, and how did they celebrate this. From that very website, this is how: “We’ll be celebrating the album drop tomorrow(10/3) in Evansville, IN at Bokeh Lounge, doing an “Evening With”-style show, playing all night, with sets featuring stuff from every record in our catalog, along with a few covers we fancy, so wear sensible shoes if you plan on attending, because we’re going long.”
A proper gig. A real thing. Something you can be part of. Not a soulless thing on Facebook. Damn.
I’ll bet it was fabulous too, because this is exactly the sort of music that should be played live, to people, by people who give the impression that if they weren’t on stage, they’d be in the crowd.
Even if, you’ve never heard of TGA before, then you have heard them. Right from “I’m Alright”, the gleeful opener, this a journey through rock n roll. The sort you, me and everyone with any taste has always loved. When I was six years old, in 1982, My gran worked in a shop where there was a box of singles. I used to take my pocket money there every time we went to visit. The first single I can really, properly remember buying was “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band. This has the same gritty vibe.
Indeed, “….Alright” is way better than merely “alright”. Taking as it does the idea that Cheap Trick might jam on some Georgia Satellites tunes as its starting point.
That said, don’t think this is going to be a template for the album. No, instead, “….Hurt” does its thing, by begging, borrowing, stealing and rocking just the way it damn well pleases. “Believe In Ghosts”, a mid paced radio rocker, would make the likes of Gin Blossoms blush, “Lyvia” is an arena filler. Think Stereophonics in the “Dakota” era, or “High On Rose” which is so good it might be better than the opener. If you have heard The New Roses, you need this in your life. A 70’s sounding thing, but not retro, and crackling with energy.
As if to emphasise the point that this won’t fit in your box, nor does it do what you think it will, “In The Wreckage” would, if it was a Goo Goo Dolls song, see Messrs Rzeznik and Takac polishing another gold disc. Which they merrily follow up with a slice of piano led grandiosity, in “Worn Out Souls.”
Genuinely, it Is staggering how much ground they cover here across these ten songs. “Light Years” is a glam infused thing, “Three Leaf Clover” is a catchy slice of airy summertime, that has me longing for The Trews, while the day a song like “Satellite” can’t make the world better is the day we should all draw the curtains. From the same dirt roads as Petty, but sounding like everything and nothing all at once, this is music for and by people that just love it. Simple as that.
It even finishes with a genuine hard rocker. TGA have opened for Cinderella’s Tom Keifer and Jack Russell’s Great White. If they ever do again, this will go down a storm.
The Great Affairs here, surely are lust filled nights with your rock n roll bit on the side? The real skill here is that they pull all the disparate threads together and make it so cohesive. Like a compilation album, but all by one fantastic band, “Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt” is basically the sound of Denny Smith dusting off his songbook – and it is a real diamond of a thing.
The Great Affairs “Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt”
By Laurent C.
November 9, 2020
Although The GREAT AFFAIRS released a few albums in the past, it seems like their 2018 album “Ten & 2” was a fresh new start for them. After a handful of singles, The GREAT AFFAIRS are back with a full album. Opening track “I’m Alright” shows that the band still has one foot in classic rock’n’roll and the other one in powerpop. “Believe In Ghosts” has all the fine melodies and hooks to be radio hit or a movie soundtrack while “Lyvia” could please every AOR fan reading this (if there’s any!) The bands’s music sometimes gets close to BRYAN ADAMS (“High On Rose”) and can also be emotionally quiet (“In The Wreckage”, “Worn Out Souls” or “Three-Leaf Clover” that reminds me of The BLACK CROWES) but you’ll also hear a bit of 70s AEROSMITH in “Light Years” or in “The Ride” and some Southern rock in “Satellite.” These guys probably have listened to LED ZEPPELIN as much as CHEAP TRICK so you can imagine that they can’t go wrong.
"We immediately fall in love with Denny’s incredible voice. His lyrical energy and writing style will tug at the strings of your heart.
Denny Smith has a sound that you won’t be able to shut off. You’re witnessing the rise of something great and we can’t wait to see what’s around the corner for the artist."
-S. Ben Ali
-Keep Walking Music
“The Great Affairs is a rock ‘n’ roll band. And they made a rock ‘n’ roll record. You get it all: classic rock, power pop, roots rock, Southern Rock… When you think you are hearing Cheap Trick, The J. Geils Band, The Bottle Rockets and Bad Company at the same time, you are probably a good listener. More important, if you are looking for a Saturday-Night-Record, I have found you one.” - Patrick Donders
“It’s to Smith’s eternal credit that he’s able to craft songs that sound like you’ve known them forever....material that’s so good, it has to be asked: how is Smith still working on the fringes of cult fandom at this point? He deserves to be far more widely known. ”
“Denny Smith: An Overnight Low Denny Smith, the captivating frontman of rock band The Great Affairs has finally delivered his first solo album, An Overnight Low. Smith’s 12-track record contains exactly what fans have been hoping for; hook-heavy no frills rock and a healthy dose of contemplative ballads. Written and produced by Smith himself, An Overnight Low shows the singer-songwriter in a new light from his previous band efforts. The gorgeous “Leaving L.A.” is a cinematic love letter to the City of Angels, while the infectious “Hard Stop” is the kind of romantic rocker made for blasting from rooftops and car windows when needing a break away from the insanity of the world. For those not yet familiar with Denny Smith, his style can best be described as a stirring fusion of Tom Petty and Jon Bon Jovi, with a dash of the Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones. For fans of the aforementioned, An Overnight Low is the album you didn’t know you’ve been impatiently awaiting.” - Eric Allen
“Denny Smith-An Overnight Low. The frontman of The Great Affairs and fORMER finally put his own name on the cover with his solo debut. Unlike the harder-edged pop of fORMER, his solo excursion is more at peace with his other band; in other words, classic mid-tempo pop/rock that's radio-ready (90s radio that is). "Silver Lining" opens the album in fine fashion with just the right dose of melancholy to go along with a winning melody, while the more uptempo "Hard Stop" finds the golden mean between Butch Walker and The Gin Blossoms. "All in the Livin'" is an upbeat, acoustic number that's quite ingratiating, and the power ballad "Missing You" is another delight. Smith isn't going to reinvent the wheel, but that doesn't mean the ride isn't still smooth.” - Steve