Photo by Laura King

Mike Reinstein

Singer, songwriter, guitarist


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CD: Acts of Love

 Acts of Love

The acts of love described in these songs range from the heroic work of family carers, simple humanity and narcissism to the everyday magic of loving relationships.


I've always found that a good opener is almost guaranteed to keep you listening, even if the title utilises one of Oxford University's top ten most irritating expressions. 24/7 Care is simply a beautiful pop song celebrating the most important people in our society, those who care for us, all wrapped up in an arrangement of a Ray Davies standard. It's actually such a good opener that you tend to stall getting on to the second song. It's important though that you do though, otherwise you just might miss The Gardener of Aleppo, a poignant comment on war, from the perspective of a thirteen year-old Syrian boy, lamenting the death of his father; a simple song, delivered on ukulele, but with an extraordinarily powerful message.

Acts of Love is Mike's fifth album to date and is one of those albums by a singer songwriter who cares, in that he cares about the songs that he writes, making sure there are no throw aways. Pick any of the songs here and it will mean something to you; whether it's the lazy lounge jazz arrangement of the title song Acts of Love, or the joyful optimism of Everything's Going My Way. Then there's Seaford Song, which recalls a holiday when 'Little Eva sang on the house PA' to a thirteen year-old Mike Reinstein, which further references some of the most important names of the era, Stevie, Marvin, Martha and Sam and Dave, no prizes for guessing who Mike's referring to here. If this wasn't enough, this latest collection of songs includes a gorgeous tribute to Billie Holiday, from the angle of a young fan by the name of Peggy Lee, set to a melody based around Strange Fruit, Holiday's most poignant song. I Love Everything You Do is a highly accomplished song, which really should be recognised for what it is, a song written almost definitely as an act of love.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky Magazine

Mike Reinstein is a singer/ guitarist from Sussex and his songs are usually literate, thoughtful and, indeed, thought-provoking. I’m pleased to say that Acts Of Love is no exception. The album title itself is cleverly open to interpretation but the opening track leaves us in no doubt as to Mike’s message. ‘24/7 Care’ is a big production number featuring Robert Heasman’s trumpet and Tim Wade’s trombone over producer Ali Gavan’s bass and Lee Humber’s drums. Its subject is the family members who take over the caring duties that the government should provide and it reminds me a bit of the early Kinks. The style changes to acoustic guitar for ‘It’s Come To This’ which, I’ve decided, switches the viewpoint to a carer isolated by his duty to his wife. It’s desperately poignant and makes a perfect contrast with the optimism of ‘24/7 Care’. Fortunately for our emotional balance, things become less fraught with ‘A Lot Like You’ and the jazzy, smoochy ‘Act Of Love’ featuring Reina James-Reinstein’s piano and electric guitar from Mick O’Connor. Now, of course, I’m looking for the twist in the tail and ‘Everything’s Going My Way’ sounds like a silly, inconsequential song until you reach the end and…no, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Other songs range from an imagined meeting between Billie Holliday and Peggy Lee to life in modern Aleppo and a memory of Samuel Beckett and Mike returns to the main theme with ‘It’s A Given’ decorated by Ray Knight’s harmonica followed by the nostalgic ‘Seaford Song’. ‘Show Me My Mark And Tell Me What To Say’ is a romantic piece with a country edge and the whole band back together again. Acts Of Love is another fine album from Mike – a heady mix of subjects and styles and all done with love.

Dai Jeffries

Track Listing

(All songs by Mike Reinstein)


Mike Reinstein – acoustic guitar, ukelele, lead vocals
Ali Gavan – bass, vocals, electric guitar (on Show Me My Mark And Tell Me what To Say)
Robert Heasman – trumpet
Lee Humber – drums and djembe
Reina James-Reinstein – keyboards, vocals, brass and vocal arrangements
Ray Knight – harmonica
Mick O’Connor – electric and acoustic guitar
Skjold Sutcliffe – drums on I Love Everything You Do
Tim Wade – trombone

Engineered and produced by Ali Gavan at Brighton Road Studios, West Sussex 2017

Buy Acts of Love £10 plus £1.50p postage and packing in the UK
UK delivery: £10+ £1.50 p&p
Europe: £10+ £2.70 p&p
Rest Of The World: £10+ £3.40 p&p

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