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Local musician releases full-length album Island gigs kick off Tuesday

January 28, 2015
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

It was an item that sat on his bucket list for some time, and he was determined this was the year he was finally going to carry it through. Local musician Carl Conley has been in the music business most of his life, primarily playing jazz, but infusing some blues into the mix from time to time. He's worked with some big names in the music industry over the years, and in late 2014, he was sure to mix a wealth of talent into one professionally recorded album, entitled Carl Conley Presents Musical Intoxication.

The full-length album is just that, a Musical Intoxication, as the sounds throughout the 13 tracks integrate with blues and jazz, a little rock and pure funk fusion. It's a light-hearted album with a lot of soul.

"This was a bucket list project, something I've wanted to do for a long time I?had a passion to do it. It's a funky rock, countrified pop, hip-hoppin', finger poppin', spiritually blazin', rhythm and blues amalgamation. Music the old school way: crisp horns, soulful backup singers, scorching solos with original lyrics that defy categorization," Carl said. "I was a writer before I was a musician, and many of these songs were poems that I always wanted to put to music. Many others were written specifically for the album. I?was able to do that with the help of many talented, big-name people in the music industry 21 musicians many very well-known musicians of the industry. It's a solid, professional record. The sound man, Joe Viers, was James Taylor's engineer. The organ player, Bobby Floyd, has played for Dr. John; the drummer for Dinah Shore; guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelics. We have a horns section, vocals back-up it's a well-orchestrated album; sounds like it's right out of RCA?Records."

Article Photos

Carl Conley has been traveling and playing music in several states to promote Musical Intoxication, pictured here at the Riff-Raff club in Dayton, Ohio. Photo courtesy CARL?CONLEY

Carl not only plays his sax on the album, but he's unleashed his bluesy voice for the record, as well.

"I play sax on the record three times; I wrote 11 of the 13, with two covers, and sing on all of them."

His musical mentor, Gene "King Sax" Walker, was a legendary icon in the music industry, with 15 lifetime Grammy nominations, and worked closely with Carl for decades, becoming a close friend along the way.

"Gene wanted to produce this record for me, then he fell ill. He wanted me to promise I'd still do the record after his passing. He was my mentor; I studied with him for over 20 years and we became really close friends. The tracks 'King Sax' and 'Ode to Gene Walker' are dedicated to him. After his passing, I co-produced the album with Sean Carney and Dave Powers: two oustanding producers."

Sound man Joe Viers said Carl's album is not one you hear often anymore. "As Joe pointed out, nowadays, most albums are recorded with a band, using lots of samples," Carl said. "But back in the day, the music was recorded live, with live singers, live musicians. It was a very sophisticated recording technique, with many sound layers, and you can really hear that in the album."

The fresh album is available on both, iTunes and for $15 to $20, but feel free to pick one up live and local, as the Carl Conley Project returns to the Fort Myers Beach shore Feb. 3, at Nervous Nellies, continuing to play there every Tuesday evening, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., through April. You can also catch the blues jazz funk fusion group, performing some of the album's tracks live at Smokin' Oyster Brewery every Friday in March, along with a full set from the six-piece band.

"Last year, we performed 79 gigs on Fort Myers Beach in 15 weeks. We look forward to doing the same this year," Carl said.

For more information on Carl Conley Presents Musical Intoxication album, or upcoming local gigs, visit



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