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Song Review: The Chris Massey Band’s ‘Too High to Cry’

Author: Lynn Schrum

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When music videos first hit TV screens back in 1981 on MTV, the formula for a great video was simple; all you needed was a great song and a beautiful girl. The Chris Massey Band has proven that in 2018 the formula still works. “Too High To Cry” is the latest single from THE CMB and the first release from their upcoming album (Massey’s 4th), CALIFORNIA COUNTRY.

The song follows a familiar country template where the guy loses the girl and then goes to the bar to drink enough to ease the pain. This is nothing new. But compared to what comes out of Nashville these days, the song sounds fresh and original. The tempo and melody are very pleasing to the ear and Massey’s vocal and lyrics do a great job of painting the picture.

The band is super tight and features some fine pedal steel which has become a forgotten instrument in today’s country music. The song is reminiscent of the great country rock sound that came out of southern California in the late 60s and early 70s. If Gram Parsons were alive today one would think that he would certainly give his stamp of approval.

The video was shot and directed by Atlanta filmmaker Adam Van Wickel, who also did the work on the band’s “TUCKERVILLE” video. The video was shot in Atlanta—Lake Claire Park, Edgewood Ave, and Atlanta’s legendary honky-tonk, Southern Comfort.

Southern Comfort has been the backdrop for many a Hollywood movie. Most recently, Jennifer Anniston was at the club for two weeks filming her new movie Dumplings which will be released later this year. The girl in the video is Atlanta actress April Billingsley.

Among April’s many film credits is a role in the movie Last Vegas. Her scenes with Academy Award winner Kevin Kline are some of the film’s most memorable. Walking Dead fans will remember her as Theresa from season 5. She is currently starring in the Indie movie, The Twelve Lives of Sissy Carlyle, where she has pulled in two best actress awards at national film festivals.

The video starts out with Massey asleep in his truck in front of the bar. It quickly changes to a black and white dream scene where April is telling him she has had enough. As she leaves walking up the steps, she turns and gives Massey a look that is the perfect combination of upset and pissed off. This 35-second film sequence does a nice job of laying out the storyline. Although April is easily 20 years Massey’s junior, they are able to pull off the boyfriend-girlfriend effect on screen. Van Wickel did a good job of limiting their scenes together, and shooting the scenes in black and white certainly helped. Once the music starts, it’s just Massey sitting at the bar singing and lip syncing while having black and white flashbacks of the love he lost.

What THE CMB has here is a good solid country song with quite an entertaining video. Hopefully, the higher-ups in Nashville will take notice to this song and realize that country music is much more broad than what they have been spewing out the last decade. It will be interesting to hear what the rest of CALIFORNIA COUNTRY will sound like. In a recent interview Massey stated that, “This album would have a different style of country than what has appeared on his first three records”.

So far I would say he is right and in a good way. Look for CALIFORNIA COUNTRY to be released summer of 2018.

Lynne Schrum