Renaissance and Yardbirds co-founder Jim McCarty released his second solo album Sitting on the Top of Time on Troubadour Records in the UK.
Recorded over several sessions between June 2006 and April 2008, McCarty assembled a great roster of players, including keyboard player Donald Quan, guitarist Ray Hickey Jr, bassist George Koller, and McCarty's longtime friend and flute player Ron Korb. The sessions were recorded at Quan's Toronto-based Q Music studio. Former Genesis member Steve Hackett and progressive rock/jazz musician Jean-Michel Kajdan and also contribute guitars on the album.
Every song on Sitting on the Top of Time was written and sung by McCarty, who also plays acoustic guitar, percussion, and drums. It's beautifully recorded and produced, and the sound has an immediacy that makes you feel the musicians are in the room with you.
Fans of Renaissance's early material will feel at home here. The songs are acoustic and melodic, and lyrically focused on themes of peace, introspection, and hope. The title track pulls all these themes together with the lyrics "My feet down on the earth / I'm learning to know how / No need to judge or blame / The ones that aren't the same / Just let them ever be / No more affecting me."
The instrumental pieces-- "Hidden Nature," "Near The End of May," and "Shangri-La"-- would be perfectly suited for an afternoon sitting on a sunlit veranda with a glass of wine in hand.
This is an interesting project in the context of McCarty's oeuvre; when one thinks of the projects and tours he's done across so many musical genres, it makes sense to view this album as a way for him to let another side of his musical personality show through. One gets the impression that this is the "up-close-and-personal" Jim McCarty.
Sitting on the Top of Time is highly recommended, especially for Renaissance and Illusion fans.
Sitting on the Top of Time is available from Troubadour/Easy Action at www.jimmccarty.co.uk and at amazon.com