Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘new england’

John Taglieri – Lucky #9
(April 17, 2012 – Leap Dog Music)

Everyone probably knows the feeling that music can be so familiar, so safe, that it almost feels like a home to you. A place you can hide in or that can take you away from the world. I’m sure everyone has at least one artist or band, or at least an album or a song that has that effect on them. For me that is true with John Taglieri’s music.

Because of all the honest passion and endless energy John weaves in his songs it always gets me going again. After I listen to his songs I have the energy to get on my feet and do all those things that I’ve been putting off. And I feel like there is nothing I cannot do. To quote the legendary Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try!” This music is my Yoda.

On Lucky #9 Taglieri spins tales of love and frustration, anger and commitment. He takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and issues that range from anger in the edgy rocker ‘Losing Me‘ to betrayal in the cleverly composed ‘Never Knew‘ to absolute commitment in ‘Without You‘ which starts out acoustic and evolves into an powerful pop anthem testament to love.

On ‘Dying Alive‘ John Taglieri pulls out all the stops to describe how much love can mean and how much it can hurt if you feel like it’s slipping away. Listen to the powerful emotion in the bridge. That is classic John Taglieri who can wear a song like other people wear clothes. The EP continues with an uptempo semi-acoustic song called ‘Make Me Believe‘ which is somewhere in the middle of what Sister Hazel, Gin Blossoms and Nine Days used to send into the world, yet Taglieri still manages to make it sound like John Taglieri in the first place. And since we all need someone to make us believe in love, this song is for everyone. When we near the end of this EP we hear an intro that is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman’s self-titled album. The uplifting melody combined with the message of taking action after realizing you don’t have to put your life on halt for someone else is inspiring.

John Taglieri is an honest musician who writes songs that everyone can relate to. The music isn’t pretentious, instead it is full of passion, energy and honesty. The songs on Lucky #9, at times are a little rough around the edges and the EP doesn’t have a fancy production, but that’s exactly what these songs need. Taglieri is a pure artist that writes pure and honest songs and we need them to sound that way too. Which is exactly what we got. Lucky #9 is yet another admirable release by an independent musician who knows what he does best. And trust me, when he visits a town nearby you, don’t hesitate, go to his show. It’s a ton of fun and you get to hear these songs really come to life.

Read Full Post »

ImageBrian Jarvis Band – Beautifully Broken
February 2012 – Soundwave
ImageImageImageImageImage

Over the years I heard a lot of music and for some reason a big portion of the music seems to consist of New England-based singer/songwriters. Brian Jarvis is another one of those singer/songwriters.

Some time ago we wrote a little post about his single On & On, which is also included on this album. Back then we came to the conclusion that Jarvis has the ability to make his songs sound very accessible and very pleasant to listen to. The way he crafts his songs into accessible, extremely radio-friendly pop/rock songs may not be something groundbreaking, but because he does it so well it surely does make him stand out.

With help of Pat McGee-veteran Brian Fechino, who produced “Beautifully Broken”, Brian Jarvis managed to write and record a collection of 11 songs that stick together and hold up as an album.

I’ve been following Brian Jarvis’ musical endeavors for just over a year now and with the coming together of this album and the added maturity to the musical arrangements and the more pronounced lyrics, you can tell he’s made strides in becoming more than just another singer/songwriter. It was already apparent he could write songs with catchy hooks and melodies and there wasn’t much wrong with the quality of his performance either. He just needed a little more depth and a little something that would make him stand out in the massive ocean of singer/songwriters that exists today.

In the past few years, Jarvis has had a lot to deal with, both personally and professionally. These years must have been tough on him, but impressively he was able to turn the struggles and the pain into strength. He decided to pursue a musical career fulltime and worked on improving himself in all musical aspects. With “Beautifully Broken” he certainly achieved that. He gathered the right people around him, focused on his songs and came up with a strong album that features gems such as: Hardest Break, Honestly and Beautifully Broken.

The title track opens the album. It’s an emotional journey in which he sets the tone for the rest of the album. The anthemic feel of the song adds to the build up and the honest performance makes the song relatable and because it is, it can really speak to you on a personal level.

Hardest Break is one of those songs that instantly sounds familiar. The song’s very catchy and not only the sound of the song is familiar. The message is as well. Everyone has had experiences where they felt they couldn’t live up to someone else’s expectations, whether it was family, love or something else. The way the story unfolds in this song, it leaves you open to interpret the context in your own head.

Honestly is a song title that appears on many albums yet never ever sounds the same. Neither does this one. This tune has a little more edge to it. Sharp vocals and and a consistent beat provide for energy and guaranteed foot tapping. It’s a song to rock out to and to dance to at the same time. It shows a little bit of a different side of Jarvis, which is not only refreshing, but gives the album a kick in the behind in the energy department. Very nicely done.

There are more strong songs on this album, but the ones mentioned above are the ones that stood out to me. Though the final track Till I See You Again was one that stuck with me as well. Not so much because of the songwriting, but because of the performance. This song comes straight from the heart and goes straight into your own. It’s an honest, emotional testimony that you can’t help but really listen to. It’s not just about the song anymore, it becomes personal. And when a musician can do that, it shows they have what it takes. In essence, music is emotion, that is why we can really connect to it and get lost inside of it. Brian Jarvis recognizes this aspect of music and manages to incorporate it in his songs. This, to me, is the biggest asset a musician can have.

“Beautifully Broken” probably won’t end up on many best of-lists at the end of the year, but in Brian Jarvis’ journey towards becoming an established singer/songwriter it is a big step forward and it confirms his talent as a performer and songwriter. Maybe he’s not quite there yet, but this record has him well on his way. He shows courage, strength and emotion and it comes together quite nicely.

Read Full Post »

Who’s That Pack – Volume II (New Directions)
Spring 2010

Who’s That Pack is back with a new EP. The first volume was very much a success so I’m curious for this 2nd release. It starts of with Syd’s version of Chad Perrone’s Madison. This is one of my favorite Perrone songs, so I won’t lie. I must admit it took me some time to really get used to Syd’s version. But just because it’s quite different I’ve grown to enjoy it a lot. Pretty much everything is different. It’s much more raw and not as smooth and lush as the original, but it gives the song a more alternative, groovy edge that actually brings out emotion in the song very well.

Todd Martin’s version of Patrick Thomas’ Getaway is probably the masterpiece on “New Directions”. Excellent song, insanely good performance. The effective drumbeat, the lyrical content and Martin’s rendition of the song do justice to Thomas’ songwriting. Next up is Safe From The Water, penned by Todd Martin, performed by Tim Blane. It starts out very sentimental with a beautiful piano arrangement and then goes into this modern, distorted part, which is interesting, but also distracts from the strong vocals a little. But on the other hand it is done tastefully and it may make the song more current.

Tim Blane’s New Dance is covered by Patrick Thomas. The funky, infectious track is performed well and interestingly. I don’t think it can measure up with Blane’s original verison, but Thomas does make it his own and impresses with this funky rock & roll song. Chad Perrone, on his turn, takes on Syd’s The Pattern. It’s a surprise to me how well this works. In a way I can say the same for this song as I said for Madison, just the other way around. Syd and Perrone have completely different vocal sounds and primarily because of that they make their songs sound quite different. But the beauty of it all is that it actually works and gives the song a different perspective that shows the diversity of not only the performers, but also of the songs themselves.

As a bonus there’s a Who’s That Pack original on this album. It’s called This Is The Alarm. The short, quirky song is nothing more than just that, a funny bonus at the end of the EP. I’ll just leave it at that. It’ll make you laugh, I promise.

Read Full Post »

Who’s That Pack – Volume 1 (Performorgy)
January 2008

Who’s That Pack (Tim Blane, Syd, Chad Perrone, Todd Martin, & Patrick Thomas) is a group of interesting, original, creative singer/songwriters from New England. On this particular venture they are playing eachother’s songs and decided to record this.

The EP starts off with Tim Blane’s version of The Bottom (original by Syd). The excellently written song is bombastic and extravert and Blane delves into his own soul to bring out every ounce of effectiveness of the song. A strong start to this record. Then Todd Martin takes on Chad Perrone’s sensitive song Like Riding A Bike. It was on Perrone’s excellent full-length “Used To Dream”, where it served as a closer. It’s different hearing it with a different vocal color, but Martin really captures the essence of the song and is able to bring the same sense of urgent emotion to the surface.

Syd is up next, presenting us with his rendition of one of Patrick Thomas’ best songs, Trip. The groovy, edgy song fits with the slightly mysterious and loose performance. It leaves the listener to get into it more and more as the song progresses. Tim Blane’s Once And Future King is covered by Chad Perrone. The song pretty much evolves throughout the performance, it grows, so to speak. Perrone’s excellent vocals and Blane’s beautiful arrangement of the song go together very well.

That leaves us with the final song on “Performorgy”, where Patrick Thomas takes on Runaway by Todd Martin. And it’s exactly what you’d expect when two gifted musicians meet in the middle. A good song is a good song and a good performance is a good performance. What else need I say?

It’s obvious Who’s That Pack is a talented bunch with a good feel for the music they make themselves as well as for the music their colleagues make. Covering each other’s work gives the songs a new perspective and shows the variety and adaptability of these singer/songwriters. “Performorgy” is a more than successful experiment and I’d love to hear more.

Read Full Post »