Though Gerald, the muleskinnin' heartbeat of Sounds Of Singles, has a North Carolina address-he was sown in the Midwest. Michigan to be exact. Growing up in the Great Lake State ANY time over the past 40 years or so Bob Seger is musical parallel of the 5 basic food groups groups or something equally along those lines. As a matter of fact I believe I read somewhere recently that you can stand anywhere in the state and there will more more copies of "Live Bullet" per household than the Holy Bible. Ten times as many people have a "I partied with Seger" story than those that have a tale along the same lines involving Kid Rock or a "I hunted with the Nuge and that he don't do drugs thing he says is a bunch of bullshit cuz I smoked a joint with him" yarns combined. Seger is something that is ingrained in the brain and pumps through the blood on each and everyone born in the pleasant peninsulas. It may not have been added to our bottles of formula as infants but dad's and grandad's turned those songs up when the came on though since we were babies. Hell, it says right on the back of this hardstock letter pressed sleeve that it's "Dedicated To Dad" even. Some upstart Michiganders try to deny or escape that the two time winner of the Port Huron to Mackinac yacht race (though the second victory can be and has been disputed though my egging of his boat had nothing to do with the outcome either way) but at the end of the day more of them can recite the "Detroit audiences are the best audience in the world" rap than tell ya the name of the Governor.
Sounds Of Singles grab two of the best known circa Silver Bullet Band chestnuts, "Turn the Page" and "Beautiful Loser" takes them on a cross country road trip then plunks the down in a lonely part of the nation where at a crossroads where there's just church and a combination liquor store/ammo shop. "Turn The Page" is sped up at little bit but barebones. The sax line is replaced with a manipulated spaghetti western woodwind, a jerryrigged ukulele provides a dusty prairie cowboy accompaniment and the loneliness of the road legends turned into an incantation. "Beautiful Loser" is much more diaphanous than any version I've heard of the song but it makes a whole lotta sense that way too. The lonely uke is reduced to a few notes and a slight harmonica is all that's underneath the lament of not being everything ya dreamed to be. If I was to compare this with any Seger record it would be "Brand New Morning", an album he made in the early 70's when he felt he was at wits end so he holed him up in a cabin with an acoustic guitar and a tape machine. The album wasn't a success with the record buying public but it sometimes makes it way to my turntable which isn't something I can say for something he did years later like "Roll Me Away" cuz, well, it stands up much better and is much more interesting.