Album Review

Barry Shapiro's new album is soulful and sleek

Barry Shapiro - Boardwalk Rain

"Baby, won't you turn me on for a while?" sings Barry Shapiro on "Out for a Ride." As the sun gazes down in the last breath of summer, Shapiro has produced a final addition to the season's soundtrack. It's a full blast of romance and unbridled joy, a breezy journey of fun loving propelled by Shapiro's soulful singing, sweet female background vocals, sleek production, and sizzling horns.

However, "Out for a Ride" is merely one of the jewels emanating from Shapiro's new album Boardwalk Rain. Shapiro effortlessly crosses between genres; there are traces of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Cat Stevens in these songs as he stitches together folk, soul, and jazz in seemless fashion. "Pullin' Back the Reins" echoes Shapiro's rootsy side, drawing upon blues and folk rock. The rambunctious piano adds to the track's swampy punch.

On the title track, lovely piano and hot sax unite on a sparkling groove. Boardwalk Rain is the kind of LP that major-label artists used to create.

There's no filler here, just plenty of good times and memorable songs.