MP3 GrooveLily - Brendan & The Extenuating Circumstances (Back Issue Series)
boy-rock piano virtuosity a la Ben Folds - searing songwriting that alternates between funny and poignant - Michael McDonaldesque vocals, and a dollop of musical theatre.
18 MP3 Songs
POP: Piano, POP: Power Pop
"...one listen to these accomplished players and it''s clear they easily measure up to any of the current crop of rock bands twice their size...Laced with intelligent and positive lyrics, catchy melodies, and impressive instrumentation, GrooveLily marks a recent trend in popular music...away from the melancholic stance of grunge rock toward music with a considerably brighter mood and message."
--The Utica Observer-Dispatch, 6/98
"Keyboard player Brendan Milburn won over the audience with his two-fisted rocking style."
--The Lewiston Sun Journal, 6/98
"power pop with a difference made from some very well crafted songs, and gutsy, heartfelt performances by some truly accomplished and polished musicians"
--Musicians on the Internet, 1998
This album, Brendan Milburn''s debut solo effort, is re-released now (in 2004) as part of the GrooveLily "Back Issue Series." The reissue has been remastered by Neale Eckstein, and contains several bonus tracks (previously unreleased songs, and early demos from 1991 and 1992).
Though "Brendan & The Extenuating Circumstances" was made mostly while Valerie Vigoda (singer/electric violinist/founding member of GrooveLily) was away touring as a side musician with Cyndi Lauper and then Joe Jackson (1997-1998) -- that being the primary extenuating circumstance -- it is nevertheless the first CD on which all 3 core members of GrooveLily appear. Gene Lewin officially joined the band in 1997, and his joyful, intricate drumming abounds on this record. Valerie can be heard during a few key moments as well.
Brendan Milburn plays keyboards and sings. Before joining GrooveLily, he graduated from Pomona College and NYU''s MFA program in Musical Theatre Writing. He does a lot of arranging for GrooveLily, and he''s an accomplished record producer as well. He often yearns for his native San Francisco. Seth Rogovoy wrote: "...Milburn was a deft pianist, his nimble fingerwork doing double-duty as the band''s bassist and provider of its harmonic foundation, delivered with the jazzy sophistication of Steely Dan''s Donald Fagen and the rock and roll theatrics of Billy Joel."
Gene Lewin plays the drums and sings, and hails from Princeton, NJ. Like many of his heroes (Jack DeJohnette, Russ Kunkel, Vinnie Colaiuta), Gene joyfully blurs the lines between jazz and rock, supporting and complementing the music but unafraid to instigate when the time is right. After graduating from Princeton University, Gene earned a Master''s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has appeared on CDs with George Coleman, John Patitucci, and many others. "His gift lies in his frenzied dynamo attack of cymbals and skins. Think Tony Williams sits in with Weather Report." (Mark Corroto, All About Jazz)
Valerie Vigoda, electric violinist and singer, is the founding member of GrooveLily. Originally from McLean, VA, Valerie is a classically-trained musician and an honors graduate of Princeton University. She has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper (opening for Tina Turner and Cher), Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. A former Army lieutenant, Valerie stars with her bandmates in print and on TV in the ongoing "Perseverance" ads for "Today''s Military." She founded GrooveLily (originally "The Valerie Vigoda Band") in 1994, with a critically acclaimed CD called "Inhabit My Heart." Dirty Linen Magazine wrote: "to call Valerie Vigoda talented barely seems to do her justice. She has a great voice, is an intelligent lyricist...and an ace violinist. Methinks we''ll hear more of her."