“Where I Stand” has a fun sound to it. Focusing mostly on acoustic guitar with electric backgrounds, “Where I Stand” is a heartfelt album filled with honesty and humor. The album has a pleasant sound thanks to the mixture of acoustic and electric guitars, as well as other instruments mixed in every so often, such as the piano. The sounds range from rock to piano ballads to near-country music. This kind of variety could be confusing and convoluted in the hands of a less competent artists, but Bagby and his band pulls it off with aplomb.
Bagby provides all of the vocals, and does an excellent job of blending a rock and folk sound that I appreciate. There are also plenty of harmonies as well, and the harmonies blend together very well, thankfully. Thanks to the mixture of good instrumentation and strong vocals, the sound on “Where I Stand” can appeal to a wide range of people.
Many of the songs seem to focus on particular situations and experiences in Bagby’s life, whether it’s as a starting musician or a thankful father. As I listen to these songs, I feel like I’m being told a short story on each track, and many of the songs evoke mental imagery.
It’s my belief that a really good song will invoke mental imagery. What I mean is that a good song will make a movie play in your head based on that song, with characters, a plot, multiple settings, and the like. Many of Larry’s songs accomplish this on some level, resulting in an album that tells pieces of a whole story, like chapters in a good book. While there isn’t one larger story here, the songs here seem to either be serious and heartfelt, such as “Hoping, Loving You,” or humorous and self-mocking, such as the fun “Player with a Heart.”
Overall, the content within each track is told with the competence of an honest storyteller, and when you sit and listen to the lyrics in each song, you believe the story you’re being told. This, I feel, is a big accomplishment, as less well-written songs can leave the listener confused as to the story or message in the song, but that isn’t a problem here at all.
“Where I Stand” is an excellent first effort. There’s plenty of variety in the sound and content of the album, and it’s all put together in an excellent package that fits together like a good collection of short stories. If you’re a fan of folk, rock, country, or good storytelling, you can’t really go wrong with “Where I Stand.”