I discovered Tony Sly’s solo acoustic work via a split acoustic album with Joey Cape entitled Acoustic. I had heard of the album thanks to a magazine that came with a free cd sampler from Fat Wreck Chords and I was instantly hooked. The album Acoustic was amazing, while I was already familiar with Tony’s work in No Use For A Name (which the album covered), I had never realized how talented the man was as a solo acoustic artist. From that moment on, I began to look for everything they did and soon ran into a fellow fan who introduced me to Tony’s album 12 Song Program.
Why This Album?
This is one of the most introspective albums I have ever encountered. Each song deals with deep emotions and thoughts that really speak to me on levels I can’t explain. Having dealt with depression and anxiety all my life, there is a lot in this album that really resonates with me. Some of the songs deal with subjects that are deeply personal and get more so the older I get. It is a little rock, a little folk, a touch of country but it is all Tony Sly and it is fantastic.
In 2012, Tony Sly died in his sleep at the age of 41. I would be lying if I said that this didn’t affect me deeply as, not only do I love his music, I am not very far from that age myself. To think that someone like Tony had his life cut short so suddenly really made me look deeper into my own mortality. It hasn’t been an easy thing to think of and, over time, it has led me here to start this very blog, Late To The Game. I can’t say that Tony’s death led me directly to writing about the things I love and the things I am grateful for but it sure set me on the path to do so. I’ll miss Tony for his kind voice, his fantastic guitar skills and above all for sharing his music with us while he was here.
The entire album is fantastic so, once again, I am at a loss to pinpoint specific tracks. I would encourage you to just pick up a copy and give it a listen in it’s entirety but if I had to choose a few that stand out, here they are.
The first track that comes to mind is track 10: Amends. It deals with things falling apart and a persons continuing mission to put things back together, one piece at a time (and whether it’s worth it at all).
Another that stands out is the tune Expired. Just listen to it, you’ll know why.
Ok, Where do I get it?
You can get a copy from my favorite online music retailer Amoeba Music for around $12 or just listen to it on Spotify if you happen to have the service. You can also get stuff via bandcamp here. Any way you go, this is a great album and one that you will likely listen to many times over.
Tony and his constant partner Joey Cape have quite a selection of music so, if you dig this album, be sure to check them all out. They are worth your while for sure. Tony Sly can be found here and Joey here.
And finally, this one is dedicated to Tony’s family. Thank you for sharing him with us while he was here, I appreciate it, you have no idea how much.
For more on Tony and the music foundation that has been started in his name, please check out the website TonySly.org.
Late to the Game 8/7/2018
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