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It is always such a treat when two smooth groove superstar join forces, not just on one track but an entire album. 

"Unified" is simply that - a musical treat for our ears, provided by a king of the keyboard and a guru of the guitar, Brian Simpson and Steve Oliver.  “I'm an advocate of music healing and bringing people together,” says guitarist/vocalist, composer and producer Steve Oliver. And Brian adds, “Let your mind wander along the path these songs take and perhaps you'll have a brighter day, or connect with your deepest emotions.” 

The lead-off title track single showcases the effortless blend these two masters achieve, seamlessly switching back and forth as theirs was one instrument and not two. "Last Summer" is sweetly reminiscent, with Brian's poignant piano setting the mood and Steve's gorgeous guitar answering in kind. The guys get space-age groovy (with a tough of reggae) on "Celestial" while "Cafe Du Monde" combines world influences with the smoothest contemporary groove.

Then other tracks are equally splendid, a melodic testimonial to the joy these guys share in the studio. And then there's "And Then You Loved Me". Oh my, oh my, oh my. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul-tugging jewel of a song. I could listen to this one over and over again. Okay, so maybe I did. It is truly one of the most exquisite pieces of music I've ever heard.

Well done Brian and Steve. You are each amazing on your own. And together, well, all I can say is thank you. "Unified" proves that yes, perhaps we are all better together. 

Vickie van Dyke

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