Hold On Loosely / Caught Up In You - 38 Special

Lately I've been revisiting a lot of the songs that first turned me on to music and guitar playing in the 80's. I was lucky to grow up listening to a lot of the music that my older cousins listened to like The Beatles, The Eagles, Abba, plus my father had a vast record collection which included a lot of Motown, Funk, Pop as well as lots of salsa, merengue and Spanish singers like Julio Iglesias, Camilo Sesto, Nino Bravo and their South American counterparts like Sandro, Leonardo Favio. They all had their own distinct singing styles and each in their own way influenced the way I approach songwriting.

Now, when MTV started in the early 80's it opened up another musical front and brought lots of music from all over specially live music. Weird UK artists, or Australian and lots of Southern Rock.
Caught Up In You is one of those songs that listening to it now I realize how much the guitar soloing on that tune influenced me. Jeff Carlisi's phrasing on that song, his melodic style, the way he held the guitar, all those things went into my subconscious. I used to find it difficult to describe an artist of whom I know just over 6 or 7 songs as influential but I realize now that it is possible to be influenced by a couple of songs from one band, or just the attitude of the band or the way a song is.

So, Caught Up in You (1982) and Hold On Loosely (1981) to me are excellent examples of guitar based rock pop. The vocals are great, the harmonies and guitars are solid. Carlisi uses some really cool harmonics and fills. Very tasteful.

The chords in Hold on Loosely (listening now, noticed they are reminiscent of Men at Work's "Overkill") are great and form the backbone of the verses. It's a cool progression which has become commonplace in rock songs.

Writing this post while staying in Maryland and listening to classic rock radio these songs come on all the time but my recent obsession with these tunes started a few weeks ago when I woke up with Caught Up in You on a loop in my head. So I went to my Spotify and gave it a good few listens. Read up on what the band has been up to, the history of the song etc.
And just the other day I found that Jeff Carlisi has a website with historic photos etc.

Enjoy these 2 wonderful tunes from the early 80's.


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