Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Carousels and Limousines

12 Jul

One of the big curses of British music is that home-grown bands too often ignore British [influences] and became infatuated by American sounds. It makes commercial sense in an entertainment world dominated by America, but the hybrid sound too often forgets what makes bands both sides of the Atlantic great, and ends up impressing no one. However, every so often a band comes along that embodies both the American influences and the British spirit. Carousels and Limousines are one of these bands.

Carousels and Limousines

Despite coming from Bath, they sound uncannily like classic New Jersey blue collar artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem. It’s in everything from the singer’s rough, world-weary voice to their weary optimism and gritty urban rock. They have the same talent for conjuring up a place, and every song feels like the story of a night on the town or a lost love.

‘One and Only’ displays the band’s hopeless romantic side, as the singer asks for a kiss from his true love. The band have described their transatlantic musical lovechild as garage pop, but when it’s this fun a label hardly matters. “How about a kiss for your one and only?” the infectious chorus goes, with more than a hint of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’. Some of the lyrics are a bit corny perhaps, but it’s so upbeat you won’t be able to resist the urge to dance with it. The sense of euphoria ties in perfectly with the cover artwork of a neon tornado tearing through a black and white carnival, suggesting there’s fun in this bleak world we live in if you only go and look for it.

‘17’s’ slows things a bit as the singer lusts after an unavailable girl, musing “Your hips that sway and your eyes that say things good girls never should.” It is classic 70’s rock and will struggle to believe it was recorded outside of the States. The band’s transformation since they performed as Grace has seen them create a much rougher, less polished sound, which makes this lovelorn anthem sound more believable.

There are no two songs that sound the same, as though the band is urgently trying their hand at every possible style in case they don’t get another chance; ballads, acoustic guitars and harmonicas are all utilised. However if this record is anything to go by, we will be hearing a lot more from them.

Read next week for an interview with the band.

Peyton Tochterman Plays it Close to Home

22 May

Peyton Tochterman

The sultry sounds of troubadour Peyton Tochterman are soulful, pastoral, but mainly refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of how folk music has progressed recently. Indie folk acts have done a tremendous job transforming a genre. Peyton, though, doesn’t mess around with hybrid stylings. No. Give him a guitar and a harmonica and let his earthy, grainy voice encapsulate you in the comfort of folk.

In his debut solo release New World, Peyton actually transports listeners back to the old world into spacious, wide-open country, with some songs tinged with a noticeable subterranean loss, much in the vein of Bruce Springsteen. Speaking of which, how about we take a listen to “Johnsburg” off of the new album.

The first thing that may pop out at you is Peyton does have an odd semi-resemblance to actor Zach Galifianakis. The second thing is, wow, is that Bruce Springsteen? The voices are more than weirdly alike, they are almost identical. Minimize the screen and just listen to the song. Are you telling me you couldn’t hear this track on The River? So what sets Peyton apart from similar deep-voiced folk artists? His rhythm moves effectively, creating a sense that more is behind him while it is really just Peyton with a guitar and harmonica. Would the E-Street band help him out? Of course! But his ability to create expansive sound from two instruments (three counting his voice) is impressive.

“A New World,” the title track of his new album, is lighter than “Johnsburg” and Peyton’s voice rises as well. “A New World” depicts his lyrical prowess, featuring lines like “life ain’t here for us, we’re here for life” and the catchy hook of “I ain’t ever been here before, hell if I know the way.”

Peyton’s acoustic folk is impressive and it is so great to hear a true singer-songwriter. I have one more little bit about Peyton before I point you in the direction of where you can track his music. I usually don’t do this, but I need to in this case because it sums it up so well. This is from Peyton’s bio.

“Tochterman is a former sports journalist, he has been hit by a train, had Kenny G.’s grand piano fall on his head, has helped cast bronze sculptures for renowned sculpture Cy Twombly, he has traveled across America on Harleys with his dad and has gone to the far reaches of China to record monks in temples blowing really, really big horns. And, he is also a cancer survivor. Through every step, at every breath, and in every barroom, Peyton has been, is, and will always be a great songwriter.”

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Better Not Let Him In: Singer Songwriters

27 Sep

Mentioning singer songwriters conjures images of a single player sitting down behind a piano or strumming an acoustic guitar.  I think of James Taylor singing “Fire and Rain” or Jackson Browne on “These Days” or even Ray Charles behind his piano on “Georgia on My Mind“.  Often stripped down to barest bones, deeply personal and even slightly narcissistic, traditional singer songwriters seemed to be one man (or woman) bands.  But let’s say you’re in the mood for some singer songwriters that bring some more instrumentation to the table.  Well prepare to be amazed.

Sometimes it’s hard to separate where Bruce Springsteen ends and his E Street band begin.  Sure there was that one forgettable period in the 90s when Springsteen disbanded the group to try it solo, but it seems like that period is in the past.  Listen to Born to Run and learn why Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is an American institution.

If you really want an in depth look at Warren Zevon, I’m not the one to give it.  I’ve only be listening to the guy for less than a week.  But the guy has impressive singer songwriter chops.  Like really impressive because not only does he get up close and personal (in Don’t Let Us Get Sick), but also he has a sense of humor.

Here’s a guy who I wasn’t sure where to put.  Jeff Buckley’s music certainly contains elements of, for lack of a better term,  singer songerwriter-ness. That being said, he doesn’t really fit into folk or any other category for that matter.  His only album before his untimely death, Grace, was a masterpiece, including the best version of the classic Hallelujah ever  but I’m going to go with his “Lover You Should Have Come Over” to showcase Buckley’s own songwriting talents.

I Now Pronounce You: Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Worthy

29 Sep

It’s the story of the Hall of Fame. One already inducted rock ‘n’ roller unexpectedly makes a dream come true as other rock ‘n’ roll all-stars wait to possibly hear their name announced at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. Let’s start with the lounger.

Hey...isn't that Bruce Springsteen

That question (look at picture) was on the mind of Ed Dwyer, his fiance Jennifer Smith, and his friend as they were participating in an engagement photo shoot on the beach of Manasquan, New Jersey. Dwyer, a musician, happened to be strumming his guitar on the beach and Springsteen, who actually was sitting on a bench close to the beach, took an interest in the 32-year-old musician.

“”Bruce said to Ed, ‘Play that box,’ said Smith. “Ed’s reaction was, ‘No, you’re Bruce Springsteen, so, here, you play.’ ”

So, that is what he did. The couple got the opportunity to just chill with Bruce Springsteen and take a few laid-back engagement photos with him. According to Dwyer, Springsteen was “laid back and chill”

Bruce even fooled the photographer initially. “He just looked like this really cool guy hanging out on a bench at sunset with friends,” Kella MacPhee said.

That is just amazing. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Occasionally, these awesome events happen and I hope musicians understand that they can make someone’s life. This couple now has pictures and a story that will last them a lifetime. Springsteen acted like a true professional and I am sure he had some fun with them. Talk about those:

]

Article Link: http://www.app.com/article/20100927/NEWS/100927086/1001/rss

The king of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen, has already been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame (which is pictured above). The nominations for the 2011 class has been released and on it is what many people consider to be the prince of New Jersey, Bob Jovi.

The list includes first-time nominees, Jovi, Donovan, Alice Cooper, Dr. John and Neil Diamond.

Also on this list is, Tom Waits, the Beastie Boys, Chic, Donna Summer, LL Cool J and a few more.

Artists first become eligible for nomination 25 years after the release of their first single or album. The 2011 inductees will be announced in December and the induction ceremony will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan on March 14.

Out of all of the nominees, I think the only lock is Bon Jovi…no surprise there. I do hope that Cooper is inducted. He deserves the respect.

Article Link: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominees-announced/

%d bloggers like this: