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LIONEL'S DAD is the pseudonym of songwriter / multi-intrumentalist Mark Towner Williams, a complete musician and Music Industry veteran, who has worked with the likes of Paul Rodgers, Eddie Money, Don Henley, Tina Tuner and many more, as session or touring musician.
Mark is primarily drummer, studied with Joe Porcaro (Jeff's father) and attended Berklee College of Music, and most notoriously, he's the brother of Toto's lead singer Joseph Williams. He wrote songs for both, among other well known acts.
But in the middle-90s it was time for his own, adopting the recording name of LIONEL'S DAD.
"Driving Music" is the second LIONEL'S DAD album, and perhaps the best of all recorded by Mark T. Williams. He plays almost all of the instruments here, and also sings very well with a vocal style & timbre similar to brother Joseph Williams.
Musically, as you would suspect, this is classy Westcoast L.A. AOR with some classic rock touches here and there, always around sweet and elegant melodies.
Tracks like opener "Looking For An Answer" or "Once You've Got The Fire" instantly makes you think of Toto or Joseph Williams solo, but Mark is much more expansive.
As example, "I'm Falling For You" has a melodic radio-oriented sound with some early REO Speedwagon on it, the mid-tempo feelings of "Let Me Be The One" brings to mind Ned Doheny, and "I Can't Tell You Tonight" is not far from Jay Graydon's book.
"Driving Music" is indeed a driving, uplifting collection of beautifully arranged and performed songs. Production is not huge and glossy as the aforementioned acts, the artwork is simple, but its 'homemade vibe' it's exactly what provides the necessary charm to the record.
LIONEL'S DAD is a very nice AOR / Westcoast one-man entity, commanded by the talented musician that is Mark T. Williams.
01 - Looking For An Answer
02 - I'm Falling For You
03 - Let Me Be The One
04 - Can't Keep Up
05 - You Got What You Wanted
06 - It Was You
07 - Once You've Got The Fire
08 - Free Your Love
09 - I Can't Tell You Tonight
10 - I Could Read Your Mind
11 - R.T.H.D.
12 - Our Love's Too Strong
13 - She's Gone
Mark T. Williams: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion
James Welch: Guitar solo on 1, 11
Diane Adams, Jeannette Clinger, Cliff Rehrig, Jamie Segal: Backing Vocals
LIONEL'S DAD Driving Music