Bonded Through the Music

By on Sep 18, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Growing up, my brother, Mike, was mad about his music. He’d lock himself downstairs in the basement of our home for hours cranking Jackson Browne, Leo Sayer and a whole lot of James Taylor. We didn’t communicate much in those days, him a senior in high school, me, eight years younger, just a knot of nerves with nothing to say. But telepathy entered in through the music, and I grew as he grew because the music he played downstairs, because well, he didn’t hold back on the volume. Seemingly always there, before school and after, cutting through the gloom and good times in our home, the music Mike played reached me in ways that still influences me today. The simple beats, the heavy thinking wordplay, the triumphant hero leveled by a life less given. These songs filled me with a kind of beautiful sorrow that I wanted to drink in, feeding me in ways that didn’t require a textbook or...

The Year Without a Summer

By on Sep 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You could ask me in a flyby conversation how many home runs former third baseman of the Boston Red Sox, Butch Hobson, hit in 1979 and I would tell you 28 jacks without blinking or googling it. Ask me the song list on Bob Dylan’s “Desire” record as I’m biting in a burrito, and I’ll rattle off “Hurricane” to “Sara” and sing you a line from “Oh Sister” before I swallow back a single black bean. But ask me anything outside sports and music, and I mean anything, like, history, and I am doomed, a stuttering mess of nothingness. That’s why when Ashland musician, Paul Hubert, was telling me in the WKXL studio recently about a new song he wrote and was about to perform with his friend, The Chicken Man, called “40 Bushels,” I was flabbergasted to hear the tale about the “Year Without a Summer” in...

Killin’ It with “Say Darling”

By on Aug 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One must come out of the gate hot when presenting a body of work that you’ve been cursing, sweating and grinding over for months in a studio, living with the thing, breeding it till that thing becomes an opening riff that kills on impact.   Not “kill” as in kill, like dead kill.  More like:  Bam!  I just got slapped in the face with the sweetest of cold waters, all in the name of music. That kind of kill.    Song one, line one, joke one – they all need to land right with the audience at the git-go.  And that’s what “Say Darling” did on their new self titled EP. They crushed it, right from the git-go.     A fierce finger roll of the Hammond organ, then crashing drums bleeding into a blazing guitar riff born out of the stylings of Chris Hersch and that, my friends, is the way to open up a song.   And that’s just the first twenty seconds of...

By on Aug 8, 2017 in Reviews |

Being raised by a fiery tongued Irish woman who weighed no more than a 100-pounds but carried herself as if she was Josey Wales in a housecoat, you never quite knew what kind of mood my mother would be in any given morning. On those unpredictable dawns when the mood of the day hung in the balance, there were two thing I could always count on: If the house was quiet, well, we were all screwed. That only meant that my mother was marinating somewhere about something — a light left on in the basement, an unzipped bag of cold cuts wasting away in the crisper, sneaker marks on the hallway rugs lined tighter than the outfield grass at Fenway Park. You know, the big stuff. Sometimes during those early hours, my mother would launch into a fit of rage, never quite knowing what she was raging against, but rage she would with the thunderous clap of a thousand lightening storms. It was an...

She Is Free

By on Jul 24, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

The first few lines of Katie Dobbins new CD, “She is Free,” pretty much sums up the existence of many of us, where the expectations are high — professionally, personally or both — and it’s very easy to lose direction when you’re busy trying to make things look perfect. “Something To Be Found,” the first single, shines a light on a 25-year old woman with two degrees, a busy job, a loving family and the weight of the world on her shoulders. Something is missing, some crucial element of fulfillment has been neglected for much too long. Ah, the music. “She’s begging me to come back home.” Dobbins comes from the Lakes Region but lives and teaches in the Boston area. She writes about the little things, those rare “Post It Notes” left on the refrigerator in the early morning hours, that, until I heard heard her sing...