The simple production values in Southern Living helps to bring Bugnon out more in the forefront and it works. The songs like Lonely Nights and Cascade are true Bugnon, where the melodies stay with you all day long. Bugnon wrote or cowrote all but two of the tracks on Southern Living and it is where the CD is at its strongest. However, Bugnon's take on Hall and Oates' Sara Smile brings the song a much more personal feeling.
Alex Bugnon recorded Southern Living in and around the Atlanta area, which means that he had the chance to get some of Atlanta's best musicians to help him. Bassist Ronnie Garrett of Jonathan Butler's band, drummers Sonny Emory and Ricardo Jordan, who have performed with David Sanborn, Earth, Wind and Fire, Boney James and Roberta Flack, help Bugnon out. Also working with Bugnon are guitarist Rick Watford and trumpeter Melvin Miller, both newcomers that have promise in their performances on Southern Living.
Southern Living brings Alex Bugnon to new levels. It has been awhile since Bugnon has received any airplay from smooth jazz radio stations. This CD should change that with music that has a different sound that I haven't heard for a long time. The South is where the living is easy and Southern Living is easy on the ears and the mind.