Tribute records can be a very hit or miss proposition. Oftentimes they feature a few good tracks, and the rest are, well, not as good. So it must have been gratifying for longtime radio personality and WBJB Music Director Jeff Raspe when his call for artists to contribute to this tribute to his favorite band resulted in such a talented line-up of artists. The result is one of the most consistently satisfying tribute albums in recent memory.
More than anything else, this album provides testimony to the sound that Winter Hours created. It’s interesting that these 27 tracks, recorded by different artists in different studios, hang together well enough to have you believe that this music was all recorded by one band. That is a powerful legacy indeed, and a tribute to the power of melody to which Winter Hours aspired.
Because all of the performances are so strong, it’s difficult to pick one or two tracks, but The Aquarian‘s own John Pfeiffer provides some great guitar work on Christian Beach’s version of “I Want,” as well as on In Between Dreams’ cover of “Say The Word.” The Winter Hours classic “Hyacinth Girl” is beautifully interpreted by Jack Brag with Deena Shoskes.
There will be release parties for the album at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center on Jan. 24, Maxwell’s in Hoboken on Jan. 31, and the Strand Theatre in Lakewood on Feb. 7.
This is perfect music for the winter hours ahead.