WUMB July Program Guide

The Local Music Corner – Summer’s Here!!!!!!!!!!

One of the many things that resonate about Summer – besides the lack of snow shoveling and actually needing less hot water in the shower – is the Summer Song.  You know, a song that puts you in that Summer state of mind and goes on to give you sense-memories of the time.  I have one to nominate for this year.  From their recently released EP The Rhode Island Eepee, it’s Love Love with “We Can’t Get Enough of the Was.” The song is bright, it’s irresistibly bouncy. And the melody is an ear worm for your whole body.  The song has an honest message about not getting stuck in the glories of your past, even though it’s human nature to want to stay there.  After all, when you’ve got a memory of things or times that were very special…you can’t get enough of it.
As for the rest of the EP, five of the seven songs are new as far as I can tell.  Yes, they are all Rhode Island inspired.  If you need more inspiration to visit that state, don’t wait until October to listen to “Rhode Island Ghosts.”  The CD finishes with the song “Rhode Island,” which was on the last release – the excellent Picture – and probably began this Ocean State madness (plus there is a truly groovy alternate instrumental mix of “Blind In The Sunshine,” the original of which is also on Picture).  https://lovelove.bandcamp.com/album/the-rhode-island-eepee

When we last met, I mentioned that Dave Westner was working on a new album by Tim Gearan and band. Well, the album is now out.  It is called I Thought You Were Somebody Else. Where his previous album was stripped down (2017’s moving and very excellent Mostly Love), this one’s got a little bit of everything.  Besides being more of a full band effort, some different musical and sonic flavors are incorporated.  While a few songs cover a familiar vibe, others have a little funk.  And some studio technology comes into the sound picture. But fear not, they have not made an album of Tim’s voice in autotune with songs that rip off backing tracks of 40 year old pop hits.  Some sample takes:  “Trouble Again” would be absolutely great for a summer drive.  “I Want to Disappoint You(One More Time)” has Tim’s dry sense of humor in high gear.  It features one of the great lyrics of the year, “I’m living proof there aint no Intelligent Design/I Want To Disappoint You One More Time.”  There is a little too much synthesizer for my taste on “Durango Way,” which otherwise is one of my favorites on the album.  While the title sounds like Southwest, the general vibe of the track makes me think of Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur” with members of the Grateful Dead joining you on a hike through the woods.  “Funky Mama” has that peppy Chris Smither rhythm.  The acoustic slay factor – as in, an acoustic song that slays you – is evident in “Better Ways.”  The gentle guitar picking of the intro got my ear.  Then the early lyric about “what was going on with Marvin Gaye…if there were better ways…convinced that there’s a better way to go” just had me locked in.  I had to see how the rest of the song played out before I did anything else.  The song is a “parking lot moment” waiting to happen. You’ll understand what I mean if the song starts just as you park the car.  You won’t be able to get out until the song ends….  Good work, Tim & band.  https://timgearanmusic.com/i-thought-you-were-somebody-else

The benefit to not being up on an artist/band for a while is seeing them live – either for the first time or for the first time in a long while – and getting blown away.  In a nutshell, that was my experience seeing the band Billy Wylder at our June 3rd Thursday At The Burren show.  The band is led by Avi Solloway.  His name has been in the Boston and New England music scene for years.  Perhaps you remember Avi & Celia, his duo with Celia Woodsmith from way before her Della Mae days.  Billy Wylder were absolutely tremendous.  Wonderful musical rhythms, along with great performance energy.  Their latest album is called Strike The Match.  If you missed the show, I highly recommend you catch them.  They’ll be on the road in New England from July 3rd to 12th, hitting Vermont, NH, MA, and Connecticut.  Check BillyWylder.com.

Avi’s musical foil in Billy Wylder for seven years on violin is Rob Flax.  Rob also has a recent solo CD, called Distractible Boy. Rob’s musical background is almost as impressive as his musical talent.  He is one multi-talented, multi-stringed instrumental cat (lots of picked fiddle and mandolin on this album).  That includes his singing voice.  The first thing you notice about the CD is its very clear and bright sound.  Even more so on headphones.  The album really starts to take off for me about three songs in. Rob’s got clever takes on romantic problems in “Cease Fire” (“throw down your arms and armor, let’s call a cease fire”), and on how those things we are supposed to deal with pile up in wait in “Procrastinator’s Blues” (you’ll be singing along with the “ooh, I’ll do it later” part).  “Up Up And Away” will bring back your childhood dreams of becoming a superhero. And Jackson Browne should cover “Angle.”  I think he would do the song very well; and it would make Rob a bunch of money.   www.RobFlax.com.

I’m looking forward to what Kevin So is up to these days.  He’s just come out with his first album in five years, S.O.U.L.(Speaking of Universal Language).  On stage, Kevin’s always been a musical triple threat.  I am anxious  to check him out soon.

July is a big month for festivals, of course, as I mentioned last month.  New Bedford Folk FestivalThe Green River FestivalNewport Folk (and Jazz) FestivalThe Lowell Folk Festival.  Congratulations to all the many area artists who are playing these great music events. On the smaller scale, there is another Porchfest this month.  Follow your ears around Jamaica Plain on July 13th.  Keep up with the Porchfests at www.PorchFest.info.

Until next time – get out and experience some live music with local artists!

~ Perry Persoff

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