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Album Review: Fort Lonesome
Kevin Mongelli
Cover image of the album Fort Lonesome by Kevin Mongelli
Fort Lonesome
Kevin Mongelli
2012 / Kevin Mongelli
40 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Fort Lonesome is the third solo piano release from award-winning pianist/composer Kevin Mongelli. With a style that is often bigger and more intense than many pianists in the contemporary piano genre, Mongelli offers a varied array of musical sound paintings that range from dramatic to tender. With a music degree from Duquesne University, Mongelli brings a wealth of musical experience to his original compositions and his playing style is confident and accomplished. The opening track of Fort Lonesome, “Darker Days,” was the 2013 winner of the Indie Music Channel Awards for Best Classical Recording and won the 2012 Song of the Year Competition in the Instrumental category. At the 2013 Indie Music Channel Awards, Mongelli received four nominations including Best Classical Artist. Fort Lonesome was nominated for Album of the Year and Mongelli won the award for Best Male Soundtrack Artist at the 2012 Indie Music Channel Awards.

As I mentioned, “Darker Days” begins the album. A multi-themed composition, this passionate piece expresses a range of emotions and moods in a classical style that is both melodic and accessible. “Passion For Springtime” is much lighter, but just as expressive with its gentle flow and more delicate touch. “Ride the Wind” swirls and twirls at the beginning and then becomes a very pleasant breeze. “Train to Despair” conveys dark and powerful emotions expressed eloquently and honestly - very classical, but also very much in the present. “Beyond the Heart” is passionate and dramatic, but from a much more peaceful place. “Unafraid” is my favorite piece on the album. Expressed as an impassioned soliloquy, the emotions gradually build to a powerful peak and then relax - impressive! “Ignorant Bliss” (a great title!) also has a ballad/storytelling feeling about it, although it is much less turbulent - I like this one a lot, too! “Lost Princess” conveys the sweetness of a fairy tale and the grace of a young girl’s imaginary princess - a lovely contrast to some of the heavier drama. “The Way It Can Be” brings the album to an optimistic ending with a gentle piece that expresses hope and reassurance in the most pleasant of ways!

Fort Lonesome is my first exposure to Kevin Mongelli’s music, and I’m impressed! The album is available from mongellimusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. If you are looking for solo piano with a bold classical flair, check this one out!
August 27, 2013
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