RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Color Three – Paint By Number

Rating: B

Color Three is a side project for some very talented musicians.  Ever heard of the band Boston?  I thought so.  Well, then you’ve heard of these guys too!

Color Three is made up of three musicians who first met when they were all members of Boston back in 2003.  They are….drum roll please…Gary Pihl on guitars and vocals, Kimberley Dahme on bass and vocals and Jeff Neal on drums and vocals. 

Now, just for history’s sake…you may have heard of Gary Pihl and you’ve certainly seem him.  Gary was standing in that jail cell with Sammy Hagar on the classic “I Can’t Drive 55” video back when MTV actually played music!  Gary was with Sam for years and then in 1985 joined Boston when The Red Rocker went off to play with that little known band Van Halen. Wonder whatever happened to them? I digress…It should be noted that Gary was instrumental to Boston’s comeback album, Third Stage, and has been working closely with Boston founder Tom Scholz ever since.

Drummer Jeff Neal was another Tom Scholz find, although not as easily found as Gary was, as Jeff was in a local band and Tom snagged him for the big time. 

Kimberley Dahme was easier to spot as she is (okay I am going into ‘80s mode here) like totally a fox, man.  Yep, she is one pretty lady.  The fact that she has a voice that can switch from angel to devil in a bars notice, can play a mean bass guitar and is a sophisticated and emotional songwriter and performer just rounds out what is already a fabulous package.  Okay, sorry to everyone out there for my non-professional behavior but you gotta forgive me…just this once… I mean…I kinda got a crush on her! 

So, on with the story of Color Three…not only are these guys and a gal great musicians they are in this gig for the right reasons, namely to make new music outside of their day gigs.  They don’t want to sound like Boston, and, in fact, they don’t.  They sound like Gary, Kimberley and Jeff meets Fleetwood Mac meets Melissa Etheridge meets The Pretenders meets your basic three-piece classic rock band.

Color Three don’t worry so much about what they have done, or who they are, instead they concentrate on singing, songwriting and performing. They are as worried about the feel of the songs as much as much as they are the sound of the songs. This is best heard on two tracks that Dahme shines, the on opening track “Dance All Night” and “Lay It Down.”  In fact, every performance is well done and the songs are well written and recorded. 

Pihl has always been a man with great integrity who cares more that his parts are right for the song than using the music as a platform to show off.  Suffice it to say his playing is spot on perfect, as usual, but his ability to keep it all under control leaves us wanting more.  I only wish Gary would have shown off a bit more as I know this guy can flat out play! 

This one is not about a light show, a major label, a bunch of flashy videos or technical studio thrill seeking.  Instead, these guys set out to write some great songs that mean something to them and to share them with the rest of us. 

Mission accomplished. 

By Jeb Wright