2.05.2008

Toofer Toosday - Weinland & Nicole Reynolds

John Adam Weinland Shearer, or simply Weinland, worked for years in a floundering mental health system. I read this after I had given his upcoming LP, La Lamentor (Badman), a couple of spins, but the pain and torment of those lives he was intertwined that is sewn throughout this album is hit me immediately. Many, including myself, hear flares of Neil Young and tones of Elliott Smith echoing throughout Weinland's songs which is probably the greatest complement any song writer can get. Still Weinland has his own voice...wavering yet smooth...definitely not over the top. He lets his lyrics soak into his guitar, and he let's his guitar drive each song. The production behind the vocals and guitar provide an emotional lift when needed. Whether it's strings or pedal steel guitars, they seem to flow in at the right times and fade out when the moment is over. Overall La Lamentor might have taken a couple of listens to get into, but in the end it won me over. It's set to be released on March 4th of this year with a tour to follow.

mp3: Weinland - Curse Of The Sea --> website --> buy
mp3: Weinland - God Here I Come

Nicole Reynolds hails from Pittsburgh, but currently finds herself in Philadelphia and a small organic farm in western PA. Formally schooled in jazz guitar and composition, Reynolds clearly has a grasp on the fundamentals of song writing. That's not what impresses me though. You see...I'm a BIG Bob Dylan fan. BIG. What makes Dylan so grand in my eye is that he never lets the music get in the way of what he's trying to say. He presents himself as a storyteller, poet, and political activist who's method of speaking is through song. I feel the same thing emanating from Nicole Reynold's work. She may not channel the profound storytelling aspect of Dylan, but her poetic verses are deep reverberations of her soul's travels. That might sound a bit over dramatic, but hey, I'm allowed. Aside from the lyrics, Reynold's voice seals the deal. Raspy and dark some moments, but then alive and brilliant the next. I couldn't quite put my finger on who it reminded me of, but then it hit me. Her voice has an old vaudeville sound (similar to one of our faves, Vandaveer) blended with the vibrancy and energy of Sondre Lerche. Nicole Reynolds released her second album, This Arduous Alchemy, last year and can be found playing local venues around Philly and beyond.

mp3: Nicole Reynolds - Dreamers Dream --> website --> buy
mp3: Nicole Reynolds - In The Morning

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