Stephen Kalinich & Jon Tiven, Each Soul Has a Voice.

Here’s a pair that belong together. Stephen Kalinich was a spoken word artist in beatnik L.A. starting in the mid-‘60s before joining Dennis and Brian Wilson to write songs for the Beach Boys. He succeeded, too. Jon Tiven has been a master musician and producer for enough years to have worked with almost everyone. Joined on these sessions by wife Sally Tiven on bass and the North Mississippi Allstars’ drummer Cody Dickinson, this is music from a distant planet that also hits directly home.

The songs ring with truth no matter what the price and an inner glow that spreads outwards. “Rude Awakenings,” “Explosions of Love” and, yes, “Life is a Fucking Zoo” show a troubadour on a mission to speak his innermost mind. Kalinich’s strong vocals guide the way, and have an uncanny ability to open wide the doors of perception. Tiven’s abilities on a variety of instruments let the music always live up to the task of spreading the word. Throw in guitar guests like Brian May and Steve Cropper, and the twisted southern soul of Stephen Kalinich’s mixture of Eastern and Western philosophies becomes an irresistible voyage into a brave new world. There isn’t anything like it anywhere, and thank goodness for that. Listen and be still.