It?s the year 2005, and with it brings one of the most compelling albums in recent history. The debut solo-effort from singer-songwriter Randy Coleman titled ?Last Salutation? captures the history of a life that is continually being written and re-written.
And so the story goes:
Randy Coleman almost never came to be. While his mother, Jean, was shooting a television show in Mexico, and coincidentally pregnant with Randy, she was accidentally injured during filming and began to lose her unborn child. Going against Mexican federal law, she refused to terminate the pregnancy. And with that, she saved Randy?s life.
Growing up in the Coleman house the family bonded through an unbridled passion and love of music. Dad was a melody man and Mom, a lover of lyrics. On any given day, you would hear such great and diverse artists such as Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Willie Nelson, and John Denver. Thus began the education of Randy Coleman. In a home filled with an endless stream of amazing music Randy recognized, at a very young age, a great song when he heard it. It moved him; it breathed life into his soul, and before he even knew it was obvious where he was headed.
One of the many turning points in Randy?s life came at the age of 13 when his parents divorced. His life being suddenly shaken, Randy sought and found an outlet in the drums, albeit briefly. Being true to his Aries nature, he quickly realized he needed to be out in front. So he picked up a guitar and his therapy began. Armed with nothing more than a second-hand acoustic guitar, a Beatles songbook, and unrelenting ambition, Randy practiced and learned every song in that book. As Randy states,?Looking back, it really helped me get through a very tough and confusing time in my life. Whenever I?m asked how I learned how to play, I tell them 2 guys from Liverpool, John and Paul, taught me.?
Turning point number 2 came from the speakers of his sisters? stereo. While blasting Queen?s epic ?News of the World? record, Randy?s ears were assaulted with the unheard of vocals of Freddie Mercury and virtuoso guitar playing of Brian May. The songs weren?t bad either. From that point, it was game on! Randy immediately immersed himself in the music of Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, CCR, and Cheap Trick, (?Robin Zander, the most underrated singer in rock-n-roll?, Randy has said.) With his interest in such diverse artists driving him forward, he happened upon the poetic lyrics and the hi-lonesome sound of Hank Williams. ?Hank is one of the few artists I can listen to anytime, no matter what mood I?m in. His voice and lyrics were so pure; you could hear the heartbreak, the struggle, the resolve of his life in every word he sang.? One more step toward defining who Randy Coleman would eventually become.
In school, Randy was the kid who was good at just about everything that had nothing to do with school itself. Randy got the bug to follow in his fathers?, Dabney Coleman?s, footsteps and study acting. True to form, Randy jumped in head first, quickly earning a MFA from Cal Arts. Ironically, this marked another turning point in his career as a singer/songwriter. ?Cal Arts is where I found my voice?. Immediately after graduation, Randy formed the critically acclaimed, Zoo Story, and shortly thereafter, signed a record deal with the independent label, Vagrant Records. From there, the record was picked up by a Universal Music Group offshoot label called 333. Sounds great, but here?s the downside: as has happened countless times in the music business, 333 shuts its doors and Zoo Story is left without a home for their music. But the upside was he got his 1st taste of the big time, of signing a deal, making a record, blah, blah, blah. And, one of the songs on the record, ?Star? was featured in the Kevin Costner film, Dragonfly.
Soon after, the band went their separate ways. Discouraged yet driven, Randy decided to continue writing and gigging as a solo artist, enlisting Zoo Story guitar player, Carlos Rivera, to help him realize his destiny. He signed with legendary manager Doc McGhee, (Kiss-BonJovi-Motley Crue, Bob Schneider, etc.) and met Skid Row guitarist Snake Sabo. It was suggested that Randy and Snake should work together on some of Randy?s music and see what happens. According to Snake, it wasn?t work at all. ?Working with Randy was the easiest project I have ever been a part of. Every song he played, I loved. When we got in the studio, my job was to basically just press the record button and stop buttons. That?s pretty much all the work the songs needed?.
Together they recorded an acoustic CD titled ?The Snake Sessions? which got the ball rolling for Randy. From there, the CD fell in the hands of producer/songwriter Guy Erez who quickly came on board to produce Randy?s first solo effort entitled, ?Last Salutation?.
Utilizing all of his influences yet somehow making them his own, Randy manages to defy convention through sweeping melodies and soaring choruses, constantly avoiding the obvious, taking the listener down a road less traveled. ?Last Salutation? is a statement from a unique and original artist who continually defines and redefines himself in the face of the cookie-cutter mentality that defines the present day music business.
Last Salutation is the 1st in a long line of things to come.
Randy Coleman is currently the opening act on the Bryan Adams/Def Leppard tour. The tour started June 1st in Portland, OR and will continue throughout the summer visiting 26 major cities across the United States. Also, ?Hey God?, a track from Randy?s debut CD, will be featured on the cd ?Music Inspired by the film Crash? to be released on June 7th through Superb/Koch Records. ?Crash? starring Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, and Sandra Bullock, has remained in the top 5 highest-grossing films every week since it?s release on May 6th.