Recommendation XXI: Pinmonkey

Hello hello – I am back. Since the blog site change, I have noticed that some of the older post entries have small font and I have no idea why that is (must be a html thing), but if you click on the title of the entry, the font is the normal size and readable. I actually was planning on making a new entry (#21) last week but I got held up with something else (college will do that to ya haha) and I did had some new ideas, but with the little feedback I receive from guests, I don’t have total motivation to write new entries more often lol (so, if you do read this blog, and want more, then comment so I know you exist! Thanks!). I also updated my links area with some new cool sites, and added stars next to my two most favorites (Country Universe and The 9513 ), but those other sites are really sweet too, so check them out.

My twenty-first recommendation is: Pinmonkey’s “I Drove All Night” from their 2002 Pinmonkey album. I’ve been wanting to use them for quite a while, like I mentioned in my old Dixie Chicks recommendation entry from 2007, and I thought it was time to utilize a group again. I first heard Pinmonkey (a group who got their name from a Simpsons episode when Homer worked at the bowling alley place haha) when their debut country radio single came out years back, called “Barbed Wire & Roses” , which was full of bluegrass soul and harmonies, and was pretty damn catchy. Some people – like my sister – commented that the male lead singer, Michael Reynolds, sorta sounds like a woman (a la Mary Chapin Carpenter or something), but I disagree because I never thought that lol. Anyway, when I heard this group, I was really interested in them and their music, so when “I Drove All Night” came out, I was pretty much sold (so yeah, “…Drove…” was their second radio single, if it sounded familiar).

When I first heard “I Drove All Night”, I was sitting in my room in the old place we used to live and I heard it on the radio either in late afternoon or the evening, but it was really something. Despite the lyrics being about love, my ears thought the song was a sad song, because through the production and the vocals, it does sound like a sad song, I think. I thought this would be their big hit, but unfortunately, I was wrong and I don’t think it went very far. They actually opened a concert for Lee Ann Womack, during her Something Worth Leaving Behind days, when they came near me, and it kills me that I couldn’t go to it. I remember I heard another song of their’s, “Fly” on the radio, and I thought that was their third single (that song being a remake of Sugar Ray‘s hit pop song from years before). “I Drove All Night” is actually a remake too and has been sung by Roy Orbison, Cyndi Lauper, John Waite, and later on, by Célion Dion. Their pop versions sound okay, but don’t match up to Pinmonkey’s, I think. I really like the production of the song: I hear electric and acoustic guitar and drums, because it has that edgy sound like alternative country (which is what I’d say Pinmonkey really is), and has a pop sound to it, which brings me to a point about Pinmonkey I wanted to say.

Pinmonkey’s music is really a huge mixture of different styles: Americana, bluegrass/mountain sound, ’70s Gram Parsons-ish, traditional country, pop-country, gospel, honky-tonk, etc. I mean, just by listening to the Pinmonkey album and the follow-up, Big Shiny Cars, it’s really obvious. I really had a hard time choosing a song from them because they have a lot of great songs on both albums, especially “Every Time It Rains”, “Coldest Fire In Town” (a traditional country duet with Elizabeth Cook), “Augusta”, “Falling Down”, “Love Sometimes”, “Falling Out of Love With Me” (a song that was written by and has harmonies by Dolly Parton on it), and “Falling All the Time” and to name a few. Take a listen to those and I’m sure you’ll like them as much as I do.

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the full lyrics to “I Drove All Night”, written by Tom Kelly & Billy Steinberg:

I had to escape, the city was getting too cruel
Maybe I should have called you first, but I was dying to get to you
I was dreaming as I drove the long straight road ahead
The taste of your kisses, your arms open wide
This fever for you is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright? I drove all night
Crept in your room, to wake you from your sleep
To make love to you, I drove all night

What in the world keeps us from tearing apart?
No matter where I go, I hear your voice inside my heart
It’s calling me home, pulling me through the dark
Nothing can move me the way that you do
It reaches across any distance between me and you

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright? I drove all night
Crept in your room, to wake you from your sleep
To make love to you, is that alright?

I drove all night
I drove all night
I drove all night
I drove all night

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http://www.myspace.com/pinmonkeymusic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinmonkey
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7 Comments

  1. I love the Cyndi Lauper version of this. I have the Roy Orbison and Celine Dion versions, too, and I dig them both. I’m on my way to buy the Pinmonkey version now!

  2. I also remember thinking that this would be their big hit, but alas we all know that never happened. They were a very promising group who didn’t get the shot they deserved.

  3. So what do you think of this version? Be honest haha.

    Hey Jordan! Thanks for commenting. I totally agree. I kinda thought their single after that, “Let’s Kill Saturday Night” might have done something and it didn’t, and then after that, “That Train Don’t Run (By Here No More)”, but again, nothing. They’re really talented. I keep forgetting to buy stuff off their first cd (before their “commercial” debut album). It’s on iTunes and it sounds pretty good.

  4. Wow, I haven’t thought of this group in quite some time. I’m intrigued. I remember their version of “I Drove All Night” as well. I’ve always enjoyed the Lopper version and the Orbison version, because he could sing anything and I’m on board. I’ll have to try the Pin Monkey version again. I believe I have that CD in my collection, but I haven’t listened to it in a long time. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Hey Leeann, always great to see you around here.

  6. I’m so glad you spotlighted them. Big Shiny Cars is a stand-by album in my car; I can’t get enough of it.

  7. Hey Dan. I like Big Shiny Cars too, but I much prefer Pinmonkey more. Have you gotten their very first album yet? (forgot the name of it).


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