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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » Dakota - 2015 Long Road Home
Dakota - 2015 Long Road Home

ARTIST: Dakota
ALBUM: Long Road Home
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: Jerry Hludzik - vocals, guitars * Bill Kelly - vocals, guitar

Guests: Refer to the list [click here..].

TRACK LISTING: 01 Long Road Home * 02 Push * 03 Secrets * 04 Remember When * 05 Heaven Or Hell * 06 You Threw It All Away * 07 All Through The Night * 08 These Eyes * 09 1-2-3 Baby Baby * 10 Jenny At Midnight * 11 One From The Heart * 12 Live It Up * 13 Fall Like A Tear * 14 When The Party Is Over * 15 Don't Stop Believin' (live)



It's always a good moment when a new Dakota album is released. Yes? Goodness knows their fans are a patient lot, and dedicated too. The band, in essence has always been the pairing of Jerry and Bill, even if Bill did disappear for a decade or two in between. 'Long Road Home' is an expansive effort, fifteen tracks, six re-recorded tracks from the 'Mr Lucky' sessions, plus three Frederic Slama co-written contributions. There's a live track too tacked onto the end of the album. Many guest contributions are provided, including some well known names from the hard rock industry. The duo [plus guests] deliver a set of tunes steeped in Dakota-like tradition, big on melodies and classic rock like attributes. This is the sort of album that will appeal to both classic rockers as well as AORsters, because you'll get both variants shining through the CD. I'll be doing well to work my way through all fifteen tracks.. it might take most of the day, but bear with me.

The Songs
The lead-off title track 'Long Road Home' is a warm and rousing opener, classic rock with all the pre-requisite elements. Fans of the 'Runaway' era will simply enjoy 'Push'; the tough guitar lines and chorus will make listeners wonder if this was a 1984 outtake? It would've been a great fit on that album for sure. 'Secrets' is possibly the most AOR moment here, and on this one, Tommy Denander and Alessandro Del Vecchio combine to give it that Euro-AOR polish. Perhaps this is the loving Dakota payback which Swedish band Houston provided a few years back? lol! Adding to the Euro connection, Frederic Slama helped co-write this one. Bill Champlin joins in on 'Remember When', sharing lead vocals with Bill, and keeping it tried and true within the Dakota framework. So too the distinct '1-2-3 Baby Baby' which suggests the band have a patent on this type of sound.

'Heaven And Hell' is the first of the 'Mr Lucky' reworks, and holds true to the original. There's a lot of tough guitar runs and synths, but I think the 1996 version is much rockier, though only by a whisker. Still, one of Dakota's better AOR tunes from the back-catalogue. 'All Through The Night' is perhaps the slo-mo ballad on the CD, but to be honest, it's the rockier moments that appeal most, such as 'When The Party Is Over'. Frederic Slama's contribution 'Jenny At Midnight' sounds like a downright Beau Coup song, such is the similarity. 'One From The Heart' (was named 'One For The Heart' on the 'Mr Lucky' album), operates in the Chicago realm, a radio oriented ballad. The CD finishes off with a live rendition of 'Don't Stop Believin', a tune found on the aforementioned 'Mr Lucky' CD.

In Summary
As mentioned, the album is broken down into distinct sections.. the new songs, the reworked 'Mr Lucky' songs, and Slama's three co-writes. There's a lot of music to be had on 'Long Road Home', and the Dakota legacy continues. Enjoy it while you can!

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