Monday, February 28, 2011

Zach Pietrini and The Broken Bones - The Bright and Shining Lights of Anywhere Else (2009)

 Dedicated Ears was fortunate enough to be part of a Betta Promotion Chicago show with Zach and his band a few weeks back.  I highly suggest seeing them live whenever you get the chance.  Zach gave me his album from 2009 and I really enjoy listening to it.  So here is a bit of a belated review of said album.

The lineup of the band is :
Zach Pietrini
Phil Vickers
Eric Mumbower
Nate Gass
Matt Levon

 There is a revival feeling that runs through the songs on this album and their production.  The sound meanders through but is not beholden to folk, alt country, indie rock, blues, and bluegrass. Zach Pietrini and The Broken Bones spin many fine stories on The Bright and Shining Lights Of Anywhere Else  which is a bargain $5 on their site.  It's always interesting to hear a country stomp on a song like "Chicago",  a tale of the big city told through the eyes of someone from the country. The shift in timing with the chorus is a nice touch.

 "Never Wrote" is a torch song and fine change of pace that features some heartfelt singing by Zach.  I love the languid pace of the guitar here, it emphasizes the subject matter of the song. "Still I don't see no sunshine, just the majestic and desolate view... it pulls my will in two, it pulls my will in two, and while you gaze up at my face, I wonder why you do."

The  first person narratives and subtle, clever word play are bountiful on this album. The country meets city storyline is always enjoyable to me.  The musicians on this album are really good, as good as when I saw them play live.  Head to their site and buy this album. They are also recording new material and playing in the Chicago area, so keep an eye out on their Facebook page.  Thanks again to Zach and the Band for the album and the great show.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Julie Meckler, Rachele Eve, Jon Drake Chaperone Grape Juice Records

Thanks to August and Kevin from Novo for the invite for this show at Subterranean.  Also a big thanks to Grape Juice Records who sponsored the show and has lots of really cool local acts on their label.

Chaperone started the show running with their high energy show. They had a new drummer playing, Thom had left the band two weeks prior.  They didn't seem to miss a beat though. Their set featured 3 of the four members singing lead, a broken bass string and Misfits "S.O.B"cover. They never disappoint live and are more than happy to talk before/after their set. 

Jon Drake and The Shakes had eight members and somehow they all squeezed onto the stage. Their band featured a trumpet and trombone. This is the 2nd time I have seen the full compliment of the shakes and they sound orchestra sized at time. Their ep is a free download on their bandcamp page.

Rachel Eve featured some really nice cello and emotive songs.

Julie Meckler played last and was a crowd favorite I highly suggest checking her live show.