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...

The Dobros Declare: “Time Ain’t Gone To Be A Kid…”

By on Apr 13, 2017 in Reviews |

It’s over, folks. Come out from under your house clothes, carry those rags to the fire pit out back. She’s gone, Old Miss. Winter, the wrecker that she is and always will be. When I felt the sweet touch of the sun hit my face the other day, well, it was bliss. So no winter. Something in my mind broke open, something clogged with vast amounts of winter feedings. I felt a new craving descending on me. Suddenly, I broke out my Joe Cuba Sexltet CD and listened to it for three hours as I peeled around Nashua, Keene and Peterborough, windows down, heat OFF. “Latin Boogaloo” was calling me home after a six month hiatus. This is what I walk around my yard listening too during the summer months, burning the night off. And that first jump in the lake of the season should be accompanied by something new or from the past that’s been buried in the folds of your music...

Worth The Ride

By on Feb 16, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

I enjoy sitting in my freezing cold basement listening to music that other people created. Song after song, over and over again, I drag and rewind, drag and move forward, pondering these creations, these sensations. Some people like to ski or snowshoe. I like to sit in my basement a lot. But for some godless reason, the “Sarah and The Wild Versatile” CD that I was given didn’t take when I popped it in the computer to run it. Just spun round-n-round, aiming at nothing. I spit on the disc, shined it on my thigh, loaded it in slowly again. Still nothing. Frustrated, I pocketed the CD then shouted up to my 15 year old daughter who was embedded in her softly lit fortress, doing her teenage thing. “Let’s get coffee, sweet face!” I said when I reached the kitchen. “We’re going for a ride.” Listening to music while driving trumps any other...

“It’s Evolution, Baby!”

By on Jan 11, 2017 in Blog, Reviews |

Sounding like he’s singing from the backside of a hand-cranked phonograph, songwriter Walker Smith opens his new record “Great Divide” with a minute-and-half long intro that could easily take place in a dime store record booth somewhere out in the Great Plains. The subtle crooning of Smith rides shotgun to a beautiful ukulele as the singer paints a picture of what might happen if you “turn your back on the folks you know…the faces start to fade.” Basically, ending up alone, “carving out your memories in alabaster stone.” A strong image set by Smith, who, over the past five years has become a true standout in the NH music scene. His voice is butter, just about as smooth as it gets. He works his tail off to be heard. His lyrics, they’re big boy lyrics, fully realized, bursting with intelligence. To date, Smith, who lives in Concord,...

Lesser Known No More

By on Apr 19, 2016 in Reviews |

It’s the finger roll that Tristan Omand does on his guitar that gets me every time. Mellowing, atmospheric, a familiar progression laced in a lullaby that keeps his characters always running from something. Usually loneliness. And it’s that loneliness that captivates Omand throughout his recently released new CD, “The Lesser Known Tristan Omand.” “Don’t fool yourself with what you don’t believe,” Omand, a Manchester resident, sings on the opening track, “Welcome to Lonely Lanes,” a tale set inside a desolate bowling alley where more beer is being spilt then pins being dropped. Sad for sure, a “lonely life is just burning, burning.” But the two friends in the song, both mashed up on cheap beer, know that this moment is the best it’s ever going to get for them. So why fight it? Why try fooling anyone? Omand lets it burn into a toothy snarl, that’s what the songwriter does next on...