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Paul Alan Coons - The Ride Of Life 
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

There’s a bit of mileage on the clock. There’s some water under the bridge. And, yes, some hard yards played. But you suspect it’s a life lived fully. Paul Alan Coons is back with his third album, The Ride Of Life. Out on Universal Sound Records and co-produced with T. Jae Christian, the 14 tracks share the joy, the pain, the gratitude, the hurt and loss of life. It’s an album honest, open and revealing. It’s, aptly, the ride of life.

Coons has a deep, rich and melodic voice. But then he’s had the practice. The former 21-year serving Air Force member began his musical apprenticeship at 9. Following the path of his father who was an entertainer, Coons quickly found singing and banging on a base drum made the kind of joyful noise he liked. Stints in the New York State–All State Choir and as a drummer in his school’s marching band all cemented the route towards a later-in-life career in country.

Fast forward to now. Coons’ ride of life has seen him move slowly but surely since he cut his first tune in Nashville in ’77. He’s now enjoying global play of his music, and with several notable Independent music awards, namely a Country Music Artist of the Year (2001) from Germany, the father of two daughters again proves that with his music, the ride takes time.

Contributing ink on five songs, Coons has put together an album of thoughtful and memory prodding songs. Tunes like “Reflections”, where life is looked at, examined if you will, only to show there’s much to be thankful for. “Mickey And Me”, a Jimmy Whitaker and Dan Johnson co-write, is a simple but standout tune. It flirts with notions that life, if lived through the eyes of a kid, a kid with a Disney bent and a Peter Pan imagination is not a bad recipe for life. More mood movements come with “This Faded Flower, a Jimmy Whitaker and Jayne McQueen co-write. Telling of sadness, hurt and lonely pain, the tune, so richly metaphorical, reminds us faded flowers never lose their beauty…if we but remember.

Coons’ “The Ride Of Life”, a slow and easy piano-led piece, shares homespun truths of honesty and kindness, while reminding us if there’s any good we can do on the journey let’s do it now. Around a table designed for a good purpose, “If This Old Table Could Talk” is another tune of sharing and caring. Listen out also for Coons daughter, Tammy, as she gets a solo album cut with the love-tainted “Tell Me Again”.

Paul Alan Coons, you suspect, makes music because that’s what brings him happiness. He does it because he loves to write songs, he loves to sing and he loves to entertain. With this album Paul Alan Coons is moving out from the herd with his distinctive and personal music; he’s easy in the saddle. There’s nothing here to prove – only the ride of life to enjoy.

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