Reviewed by Vai Thomas
“I can communicate far better on a guitar than I can through my mouth”, remarked Jimmy Page. And nearly every musician – and listener – would attest to the mesmerizingly communicative powers of the guitar, a miniature orchestra unto itself. Of late though in the pop and rock realms, there has been quite the dearth of supply of emotionally positive and ‘non-malicious’ guitar-driven numbers that are meant to be sheer fun, despite the demand – which one might admit is a tad understated. But then, coming up with one such number and the appropriate lyrical theme was never meant to be an easy feat at any rate. This, however, has been emphatically accomplished by Epic Nelson in the form of his latest, and joyfully unbridled, number, titled ‘So Many Years’.
Written in the key of D, ‘So Many Years’ is that sort of guitar-driven number that manages to hit that delightful midway mark between pop-rock and classic-rock, infused with Blues/Roots, and written in verse-chorus form with a peppy instrumental bridge of its own. Lyrically themed upon the joy of finding one’s true love, the elements conveying the soul being sated entailed the appropriate chord structure to go with a nonchalantly sublime guitar arrangement, not to mention the apt vocals to convey the lyrical theme in a most relatable manner for the listener. And singer-songwriter Nelson does not let the listener down at all on those counts. Right at the beginning, with the roots-infused intro upon the acoustic guitars that is bound to arrest the listener’s attention at once, the song, from that point onwards, ever grows upon the listener with its superb chord structure and peppy instrumental arrangement that is simultaneously passionate and down-to-earth.
The lyrics themselves are written with the requisite zing that makes no bones about hitting the point home, as conveyed by ‘I feel the joy of life all around me when I’m with you. Sometimes it confounds me but it’s right on you’. Of course, nothing could justify the lyrical theme, instrumental arrangement and performances, greater than a vocal rendition that oozes with the afore-mentioned unbridled joy and fun – and here, Nelson does a stellar job of spearheading the song with his effortlessly vibrant and robust timbre. And the emotive dynamics of the vocals are showcased brilliantly with each of the three verses, switching from the robust, to the mischievously cheerful, to the climactically resolute with a touch of the introspective – all bound together by the anthemic highs of the chorus: highly reminiscent of the good old AC/DC days, and yet creative and contemporary-sounding. Praise must be reserved, of course, for the mix-engineering which has achieved an aurally-pleasing mix to fully justify the immaculate performances of the vocals, bass, drum and the guitars.
At four minutes and sixteen seconds, ‘So Many Years’ is a most welcome addition to the
contemporary guitar-driven repertoire within today’s mainstream realm that grows ever more upon the listener with each listen, without tiring. It is the sort of song that can inspire musicians to create cover versions and original arrangements of it, as much as it is a fun number to be performing live on stage.
About Epic Nelson Epic Nelson III is an exceptional songwriter and performer whose remarkable talent has garnered numerous accolades throughout his career. He embarked on his musical journey by clinching the prestigious Harold B. Arentsen performance scholarship at the esteemed University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, marking the auspicious beginning of his artistic endeavors.
With an enduring passion for Blues and Rock, Epic's musical talent has flourished over time, solidifying his position as a prominent figure in these genres. His captivating performances have graced the stages of renowned Bay Area venues, leaving audiences in awe. From the iconic Sweetwater in Mill Valley to the esteemed Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, and even the legendary Pioneer Saloon in Woodside, Epic has consistently enthralled crowds with his soul-stirring melodies and electrifying stage presence.