Rock the Night Away
Following the success of his indie debut "Next Guy in Line," one of the best voices to emerge out of the Western Massachusetts' music scene in years returns with an equally impressive sophomore set. Eric Haydocy's "Rock the Night Away," is another crisp collaboration between two great artists from different eras - Haydocy, the modern day rocker with the huge, passionate voice, and his chief songwriting and musical partner Dave MacDonald, who played a pivotal role in 1980's Pioneer Valley faves The Cardiac Kids and The Sighs. MacDonald brought out the best in Haydocy on the debut disc and the pair turn all the right switches again on the appropriately-titled "Rock the Night Away." The 12-song set delivers driving rockers, provocative ballads and even some totally unexpected musical twists like the infectious reggae flavors of "One Night Stand." The disc kicks in with the dance-driven sizzler, "Rockem Sockem," and carries through such gems as the heartbreak saloon song, "2 Beers," (which could work perfectly on country radio) and the gritty, guitar-raging "Mr. Jones," which arrives complete with gospel-flavored backing vocals. The diversity of the material is thoroughly refreshing during a time when so many artists get locked into one sound and stay there. Haydocy's equally adept at a number of different styles and he makes them flow together seamlessly. Case in point: the thoroughly eloquent "Happy Sad," a beautiful, harmony-filled, flute-tinged tale of life's simple blessings - in this case a song from a father to a child. Haydocy's greatest gift is that powerhouse voice, which has a slight rasp reminiscent of the best of the roadhouse rockers. But there's a gentleness that shines through as well, and a range that covers octaves effortlessly, as he does in one of the set's best songs, "Ooh La La." That combination proves positively captivating throughout the course of "Rock the Night Away," a roaring, rocking and totally exhilarating CD by a major talent on the rise.