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MP3 Frank Carlier and the Blue Wave - Night Breed

" Night Breed" consist mostly of highly charged instrumental based music with large amounts of interplay between guitar and mandolin with also a folky feel as with Garcia and Grisman

8 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Bluegrass, JAZZ: World Fusion

From the Charleston Free Times

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family that was fond of a lot of different musical styles. As a youngster I listened to Snuffy Jenkins and Pappy Sherril and their band, The Hired Hands, on WCAY in Columbia. Their madcap brand of traditional country mixed with the first real stirrings of bluegrass was the lighter side of a musical education rooted deep in sacred and gospel people.

When the British invasion hit I was big on the Beatles and Stones as anyone, but I was also strongly drawn to the "weird" bands, Emerson Lake and Palmer, King Crimson, and Yes. They seemed to incorporate the different influences I had known as a musical sprout into that new brand of rock and roll that took Elvis, George Beverly Shea (Billy Graham''s music director), Bach and The Hired Hands and rolled it all up into a neat, artsy kind of music with a wide appeal.

The only reason I am bringing this little bit of history up now is because I want the reader to know that I am about to rave about a local band''s new release, but only because it is a fresh interpretation of everything that influenced my musical upbringing. What I''m about to describe is actually beyond description and the only way to make anyone understand exactly what I''m talking about is to conjure up musical "what ifs." What if Frank Zappa loaned his very keen worldly perspective to the classical edge of The Dixie Dregs? What if Emerson Lake and Palmer had covered a few Bill Monroe tunes and had Dave Grisman playing mandolin? What if Otis Redding had joined up with Little Feat and recorded songs written by Harry Chapin? What if you could go out to the local record store and buy a cassette or CD by a local band that had all these what ifs?

You can. It is the new release, "Night Breed," by Charleston''s Blue Wave. If I sound like I have vested interest in this project, forget it. I don''t. I intend to rave about this CD because it is worthy of all the praise I can give it. It is a jewel from the arrangements to the production and from the instrumentation to the vivid mental pictures it paints as you listen.

"Night Breed," which was recorded at Carroll Brown''s Mastertrax Studio, begins with what the Blue Wave is noted for: great guitar and mandolin based instrumentals, the first being a traditional number and the second a lively mandolin heavy tune by George Pearce called "Pearce''s Poke Platter, Please." Both demonstrate the exquisite musicianship of guitarist Frank Carlier and Pearce on mandolin. Have you ever heard Sam Bush or David Grisman? This is just as good.

But on the following songs, Carlier''s "Bridget''s Tune," the title Track and "One Life," the band shows that they can write and perform songs that mix their own brand of well thought out instrumentation with stories that are both poignant and thought provoking. Carlier shows, in these three songs, a deep, almost dark side that betrays his favored rough and rowdy reputation. "Bridget''s Tune" has, in my opinion, everything it takes to be a chart success. It has the music, the story, and Carlier''s raspy vocal rendering of a love gone bad. His "Samuel''s Song" is another gem which uses cutting wit and versatile instrumentation to paint a musical picture.

Another highlight of this CD is the eleven minute ending song, which is actually several different instrumentals all rolled into one. The title, "Flesh, Blood, Wood And Steel (Prelude/Tosha, Kita, And The Winter Frogs/Sonny''s Song/Wisdom''s Door,")is a savory trip through several different types of music. At one point you''re walking through a country road and the next minute there is a guitar which, when you listen through the headphones, is best described as an electric carving knife working from side to side while the supporting instruments make sure that every hair on your arms is standing straight up.

"Night Breed" ia an album which brings back the same emotions you felt the first time you heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes, Doc Watson, Eric Clapton or the Grateful Dead. It is a versatile album which combines orchestral rock with latin rhythms and all the while insures that your toes are tapping.

If you are a musician, you must hear this CD. If you''re a music aficianado, you must hear this CD. But if you''re a fan of the Blue Wave, you''ve already got it and you''ve already said the same things about it that I have. The boys have finally taken their musical magic from the stage to the stereo and it''s the kind of effort we should all be proud to say came from a local band.(Eddie Hogan)

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