Summing it up: Station Break 2 surveys local scene
Music is not the easiest thing in the world to describe. Often critics resort to comparisons to larger acts when they’re talking about bands, but this is a useful tactic only if the reader knows what the bigger act sounds like.
But now, for the reasonable price of $13.99, you can suddenly get almost all the knowledge you need so that when you open up your Hook you’ll know exactly what the musical group playing on any given night sounds like. The answer to your prayers has come-– Station Break 2 is here.
Station Break 2 (SB2) is the second installment of the SB series-– a compilation of some of the best music in town from those clever fellows and gals at WNRN. This time around, the music has been presented on two CDs– one called “Roots,” the other, “Rock.” In total, 43 tracks of local goodness await. Don’t like roots? Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to CD2. Don’t like rock? Follow same procedure, but end up at disc 1.
“Roots” starts with the previously unreleased track “Whippoorwill” by Robin & Linda Williams. Softly picked acoustic guitar leads off the track, until Robin enters, singing a sweet folk melody. He is joined by Linda on the choruses, where their harmony is about as ‘60s as you can get, bar time-travel or older recordings.
From there, blues/world music practitioners Corey Harris & Harry Butler show off their dobro/honky-tonk piano skills on the rousing (although drumless) track “Shake What Your Mama Gave You.”
Other highlights on “Roots” include “Ionesco’s Chair” by singer/songwriter Jan Smith– her sweet voice plays on a clever melody to a mandolin and acoustic guitar-filled background. “Letting Us Be” displays singer/songwriter Paul Curreri’s swifter-than-light guitar picking, and his catchy-without-being-syrupy melody frames some of his cleverest words.
“Rock” immediately switches things from passive to aggressive with a loud and twitchy track by indie-rock group All of Fifteen-– “This Town”—and, yes, this song is about Charlottesville (or at least some place with a similarly described “Downtown Mall.”) Dave Matthews Band, of course, gets a slot on SB2, with their song “Grey Street (Rock Remix).” I liked this song fine, although the riff that drives the song is extremely similar to another one of their hits from the early ‘90s (the name of which escapes me).
The track by local hip-hop and more group Beetnix, “Selective Seduction,” breaks up the hard rock nicely, with Hook music reviewer Damani Harrison’s intelligent double tracked vocals providing the almost continuous drive, as the background samples drop in an out.
Don’t know what Bella Morte actually sound like, never seen the Hackensaw Boys, or always wondered what’s up with Devon Sproule’s local fame? Station Break 2 will provide you with the answers.
WNRN Presents - Station Break 2 CD Release and Local Artist Showcase with Andy Waldeck, Nickeltown, Mando Mafia, Scuffletown, Faster Than Walking, Halfgrassd, Brady Earnhart, Heather Berry & the Berrypickers, Kathryn Caine, and Jan Smith at Starr Hill, July 18. $10, 8pm.