1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Former Karate front-man pens beautifully realised folk-leaning love letter to the Kennebec River.,
This review is from: The Wishes Of The Dead (Audio CD)
The first full length solo release in a decade by cult postpunk
veteran Geoff Farina. Mastered by Bob Weston.
What about this new album then?
How did this record happen?
Geoff Farina recently spent a year living in a small New
England town along the Kennebeck River in Maine, where
he wrote the ten vivid songs that constitute his first fulllength
solo release in a decade. "My wife and I moved to
Maine following her oneyear
teaching contract at Colby
College. We expected to miss the city, but life along the
river turned out to be quite interesting. " Local culture
inevitably found its way into Geoff's music: "Hammer and
Spade" recounts the proud struggles of region's original
settlers, "Prelapsarian" squints at the world through the
delusional eyes of the local heroine addict, "Twilit"
echoes the muted pleadings of the divorcing couple living
in the basement apartment, and "Prick Up Your Ears"
captures a small town's cautious patriotism as their
National Guardsmen ceremoniously cast off to
Afghanistan and Iraq.
What does it sound like?
Geoff's earnest baritone evokes Tony Joe White and
Leonard Cohen, while his intricate fingerpicking descends
from Mississippi John Hurt, Sam McGhee, Elizabeth
Cotton, Blind Arthur Blake, and other Piedmont'styled
guitar influences. The Wishes of the Dead is more directly
influenced by Geoff's experience with some of Maine's
older musicians, from whom he learned fiddle'based
ballads and dance music brought to the region by
European immigrants over a century ago. "Scotch Snaps"
recounts Geoff's trips to obscure fiddle contests and
regional bluegrass festivals in search of musicians, and
also to countless antique stores and flea markets in search
of country records, old printed music, vintage guitars, and
other musical ephemera that can now only be found far
from the ever'expanding urban population of savvy
Who is Geoff Farina?
Geoff has been writing songs, making records, and touring
for almost 20 years. He is best known his 12 years fronting
Boston's progressive rock trio Karate, as one'half of the
seminal early'90s indie duo The Secret Stars, and more
recently, as the leader of Glorytellers, his acoustic trio
with a pair of releases on Southern Records. Geoff
currently lives in Chicago where he teaches music history
at DePaul University, plays in several bands, performs
classic pre'WWII Piedmont and Delta guitar arrangements,
and collects vintage guitars.
Alternative Press - "If Farina has learned anything in his 20-plus years as a musician, it's how to turn the worst parts of life into the greatest art."
Pocket Jury - "Former Karate front-man pens beautifully realised folk-leaning love letter to the Kennebec River."
DOA - "one of Geoff Farina's most generously melodic collections, which repays patience with warmth from a distinctive songwriting intellect."
Steven Rainy BBC Radio 1 Ulster - "it's a wonder piece of work.."
Slow Thrills - "both a fine collection of contemporary songs and a homage to legendary folk guitarists"
clicky clicky music -"consistently rich and rewarding"