Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Seeds I'm Sowing by Joseph Barrios

New city, new school, new band, just in time for spring the new songs of Joseph Barrios have bloomed and are fresh for the picking in the bouquet of Seeds I’m Sowing.
This 5 song EP glorifies songwriting maturity as well as production and playing talent of Memphis son turned Nashville student, Joseph Barrios.  A wide spectrum of radio-ready, pop comparisons can be made, from Switchfoot to Los Lonely Boys, but there is timeless potential in this preview of what is to come from young Joseph.
Halfway There kicks off the collection with U2-esque guitar delays.  From the very beginning each instrument proclaims itself as a bold puzzle piece, bright and attractive alone while still fitting seamlessly into the bigger picture.
Stratocaster shine glistens on To The Moon, a song groovy enough to spark jealousy from the likes of Maroon 5 of Jason Mraz.
The longing ballad, Behind This Door, is sure to be the highlight of many romantic summer mix-tapes, much like songs by John Mayer and early Coldplay often are.
Where Barrios’ bluff city blues show in his guitar playing, his sultry voice tributes his roots as well.  Delivering lyrics so matter-of-factly, persuading listeners, Barrios is comfortable in the pocket, exuding confidence that even Mr. Isaac Hayes himself would’ve tipped his shades to salute.
Although a continuous theme-thread weaves through Seeds I’m Sowing, the final song Senses, most potently alludes to a bright future we have to look forward to from Barrios.
“I only know these ways of knowing, my love will grow from seeds I'm sowing.”

It’s planting season. Stick around for the harvest.

Seeds I'm Sowing is available free of charge for download at

Friday, May 4, 2012

Remembering the First Time (over and over again) with Gnarly Charlies' Time Machine

Great Alexander! North Alabama’s Gnarly Charlies new EP is incredible! Confidence blazes through peaked out yells in opening track Help Myself: “She might have honey but look out she’s got a stinger!”
As fuzzy as the start of a good beard, danceable bass guitar grooves follow on I Don’t Think You’re Very Pretty, complemented by strategic tambourine that jangles almost as viciously as the retro guitar tones.  And don’t forget the gang vocals, testing the waters with Oi-Punk “Hey! Hey! Hey!” and then diving in with full on fist shaking call and answer participation.
Dark and morose, Time Machine, the five song album’s title track, gifts unique and absurdly infectious guitar hooks.  Occasional subtle sound clips, maniacal laughter, the shake of a rattle snake, accent this brooding rocker. The reverb drench melody creates a haze for listeners to get lost in where the only possible route to follow starts by closing your eyes and writhing with the music.   
Fever is reminiscent of the film That Thing You Do, only  in Gnarly Charlies’ case each member of the band must’ve kept their wayfarers on, multiplying the cool factor x4.  Primitive drums hammer through the verses with the finesse of hi-hat slips, later replaced by hand claps and a pad of doo-wop background vocals catching attention and shifting dynamic to the point of climax. 
One might mistake Gnarly Charlies as residents of the Isle of Wight with vocal timbres like those delivering the slick lyrics of the EP's closer, Shady Girl, but southern roots show when the linear note lead guitar-chops interject.  Then everything drops, sparse but sexy.  Isolated to only clean guitar and vocals, intermittent harmonies set the oh damn mood. The bass casually trickles its way back in personifying the lyrics accompanied by soulful shuffling rim clicks.  This shady girl is missing out big time.
“Then you said the feeling’s no longer there, and the tears fell through the air with an awful sound, dripping down your cheek.”
First impressions are everything.  Like the first time you meet a lady friend, unabashedly scanning from head to toe, realizing your mouth might be open, slightly salivating.  Now imagine being able to replay that introductory hotness over and over again.  Luckily you can. Set Gnarly Charlies’ Time Machine to repeat and keep creepin’.

Check out Gnarly Charlies on Facebook
And purchase the album on iTunes