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Mike Lounibos - Planet California 
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist 

Californian Mike Lounibos has just released his second CD. No big deal. In Nashville, where Lounibos spends most of his time, the recording studios are into overtime rates with the number of hopefuls laying down tomorrow’s music today. It’s a hard slog with so many offering so much. It’s easy, as an Indie, to get lost in the rush to radio play, public recognition and the hoped-for reward for the years of effort and the dollars spent. So what makes Mike Lounibos stand tall against so much competition? Sure, he has the looks, the voice, which is a pleasing blend of twang and emotion, and the band. But what may just cut it for this hatted hopeful is the basic of it all – a song.

“Ring In Time” is one of the 12 tracks on Planet California, the album on which Lounibos co-wrote all the cuts, and is available now on Southern Angel Music. Deciding early in life music was his preferred route Lounibos has paid his late night dues in bars and low tip honkytonks, to finally emerge as a seasoned and capable performer. “Ring In Time” just could be the needed breakout cut.

A well crafted weeper about the joy and tarnished times of a wedding ring, Lounibos and his co-writers (Sheila Capua, Lisa Aschmann and Bill Harris) have penned as good as anything you’d hear on a modern Strait or Jackson outing. When Lounibos tells: “I was born to be loved, waiting to be bought, sitting in the jewelry shop, caught a young man’s eye as he was walking down the street he gave me to his girl, and she loved me,” you warm immediately. When the tune tracks the death of the owner, Lounibos adds the ache: “I was placed in a box, sealed with a kiss; would I be forgotten, never to be missed? The velvet was soft, but so dark inside…” For those who love happy endings: the ring gets passed from the mother’s estate to her daughter. The tune, if propelled by radio could fly. Time will tell and shrewd industry song chasers will know that this is something special.

After spiking interest, the album doesn’t fail or fall away. Give Lounibos a second listen and you’ll quickly hear a raft of potential made-for-radio spins. “Dance Little Jo-Jo” is a harmony-rich opener, while “Something In your Eyes” tells of the hypnotic power of a female, and the title cut shares a lyrical tour of California.

But it’s when Lounibos shares his heart and passions that this album takes direction. They say you have to live some pain to sing some, well, that being the yardstick, on tracks like “She Loved Me Enough” and a tale of hangin’ in and hangin’ on too long, “A Fool For Loving You”, the happily married Lounibos proves that keen observation of life and love comes in handy for writing country music.

While several of the Planet California cuts track heart moods, passion comes to the fore with “This Old Guitar”. Lounibos, who cites Randy Travis, Tim McGraw and a handful of other chartbusters as his steering influences, “Guitar” reaches back to a more defining time. In singing how he cut his teeth on Haggard, Jones and Jennings, this singer songwriter who watches old westerns for enjoyment reveals the driving spirit to his music.

Californian Mike Lounibos has just released his second CD. No big deal. Don’t be too sure.


Click on the CD cover 
to order yours!

1 Dance Little Jo-Jo
2 Ring In Time
3 Something In Your Eyes
4 As Beautiful As You
5 This Old Guitar
6 She Loved Me Enough
7 Planet California
8 Jewel Of Old Mexico
9 A Fool For Loving You
10 Who Lived Here
11 No Brainer
12 Too Long - Too Hard - For Too Little Money 

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