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  • Bryon Harris

Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever® -Hometown Hero

Review written by Ionas Finser & Staff

Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever® have a bio that is as engaging and interesting as their music. The group consists of 1) an Irish/Polish/Catholic, prolific singer/songwriter with 2500 original songs, multi-instrumentalist, son of a US Marine, and 2) an agnostic, sarcastic, politically incorrect, bespectacled, Italian/German, bass player and 3) a newlywed drummer with an encyclopedic memory and a huge collection of Star Wars memorabilia! Ribsy Records recording artists Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever® features the talents of: Don McAvoy (songwriter, lead vocals, various instruments, husband. father, dog owner, legal eagle); Marc Arot (bass guitar, vocals, husband of a school teacher, annoying uncle, project manager); Mike McAvoy (drums, percussion, vocals, newlywed, movie and music aficionado, memory of an elephant); plus a revolving door of family and friends who guest star in the studio and on the stage and put the ''Whatever'' in ‘’The Great Whatever®.

Their single, "Hometown Hero," will surely capture your heart and make you a longtime fan.

Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever® will blow you away with “Hometown Hero.” This artifact of artistic genius begins with an intro that paints a perfect picture of the song’s memorable subject matter while foreshadowing the texture of the lively music to come. Chimes enter, blowing in the wind. A distant bagpipe sounds a solute. A muffled voice recording comes and goes. By now you could cut the suspense in the air with a knife. On cue, a groovy Celtic rhythm enters in drums and guitar. A bright string section can be heard in the background as an acoustic guitar (10-string Puerto Rican cuatro, to be specific) plays the song’s melody. The melody is then picked up by the lyrics of the first verse. “Hometown Hero” has barely begun, and yet so much exciting material has already been introduced.

While “Hometown Hero” is structured like any song you would hear on the radio, it is the farthest thing from basic. To begin with, it is written for the wild instrumentation of voice, bagpipes, drums, percussion, strings, bass guitar, and 10-string Puerto Rican cuatro. These instruments are utilized throughout the song, often as subtle accents or fills between melodic phrases. It’s apparent that Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever® have masterfully created a bubbling community of sound dedicated to the beautiful story of a full life.

The life being honored is that of a close friend, mentor and hometown hero - Mark Melvin to which this song is dedicated to. The lyrics tell of the nostalgic memories the artists associate with this friend, as well as his admirable qualities. There are many heartfelt and personal references in the song, and the mere inclusion of such references creates a warm, friendly experience for everyone.

“Indeed, ‘Life Is A Song’ / You never stop singing along / Even when life throws you a curve / Or kicks you right in the shins”

“Hometown Hero” will appeal to everyone, no matter what genre one might prefer. With great musicianship and heartfelt lyrics, what began as a beautiful dedication to a friend will no doubt skyrocket itself into the hearts of countless listeners. For more information on Don McAvoy & The Great Whatever®, please visit their website.

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