Stacie Rose—Shotgun Daisy—Enchanted Records
Despite the economic downslide it’s been a busy entertainment year here at the Shoreworld so far and its tough to keep up with the talent that seems to be never-ending in New Jersey. This week’s musical highlight comes in the form of one Stacie Rose; a New Jersey performer out in support of her latest disc, Shotgun Daisy, and it’s a disc that leaves a good impression. We met at the Cape May Singer Songwriter festival and she immediately struck me as different from the usual pack of singer/songwriter zombies that are in abundance on the scene today. Her confident style is a smooth and easy blend of influences including Skye Edwards (Morcheeba) Shawn Colvin and Christine McVie rolled into 12 solid tunes on her latest effort.
I also noticed some of the players on this disc that are quietly listed, but have made huge musical contributions worldwide as well as adding here to the signature Stacie Rose sound—guys like Gerry Leonard, David Bowie’s music director (currently touring with Rufus Wainwright); Jack Petruzelli, also on tour with Wainwright, (guitars/keyboards); Shawn Pelton handles drums on two songs; Steve Conte of the New York Dolls graces four tracks; Warner Brothers UK artist, Hawk is on one song; Knox Chandler does some guitar work and James Maestro lends his strings to three songs (currently touring with Ian Hunter). David Patterson plays on the whole record. He has previously toured with Shawn Mullins and the Indigo Girls.
The disc itself is extremely produced by Jeff Allen (Duncan Sheik, Avril Lavigne) and Robert Smith (David Bowie, Rickie Lee Jones), but still shows several standout tracks like disc opener “Find Your Way,” a mid-tempo rocker that kicks in with infectious backbeats and gritty Les Pauls courtesy of Jersey’s own Steve Conti and drums by Joe Bonadio, giving it a solid groove while Rose keeps it fresh from start to finish gelling well with backing singer Lucy Woodward (Atlantic Records) and making it sound as if the pair has been singing together for years.
“Hope” is radio gold, wasting no time spinning up into the main chorus with the assist of Woodward, creating a crossover delicatessen of appetizing sounds ranging from country to pop and contemporary alternative. “Love Saves” shows the streak of Sheryl Crow influence and “Mr. And Mrs. Happily Ever After” is custom made for the next prime time TV sitcom.
The interesting “Wreck At Best” shows a darker and eclectic rocker sound from the band jumping from laid back four-four groove to double time staccato hits. It has a “Sundays” vibe and it’s good stuff. “Worry Free” is Kate Bush-vibed brilliance.
“December” is my favorite cut, ethereal and dark, Stacie’s voice soars best here with spatial superiority, class and smooth urgency as she pushes the trumpet of Scott Wendholt into the atmospheric swirls of Leonard’s ambient guitar work.
Shotgun Daisy is a head-turning effort that will have you hearing much more about Rose and her Enchanted recording future. Catch her at the upcoming Wave Gathering Festival in June and get her CD over at stacierose.com.
Case Of The Mondays-LIVE! Aztec Lounge—Seaside Heights, May14
If these guys had handed me their CD before I saw them live I might not have gave it much attention. I mean the band name is cutesy and their CD was titled, Look How Awesome We Are, something I already hear from bands on a weekly basis, but these Mt. Holly, New Jersians actually have the last preconceived laugh as they kicked my ass with their top-notch blend of ska, punk and rock arrangements. Utilizing a three-piece horn section, Case Of The Mondays blew through a dozen or more tunes on this rainy Thursday, giving me the idea that if Seaside Heights keeps opening their minds to music of this magnitude, their goddamned parking tickets might not be the sole highlight of the summer.
Case Of The Mondays played as part of The Seaside Music Festival, out back of the Aztec to an appreciative crowd of faithful fans and festival-goers. It was a treat to watch a band really dig in and love what they do live, and not take itself too seriously as they performed all 10 cuts from their latest disc, Look At How Awesome We Are, with said self-titled cut dropping humorous verses like, “You’ve never seen anything like this before, fire and flame seep up through the floor. We bring the metal through the mantle crust and core all for a meager $5 at the door.” Yep, humble and wise, Case Of The Mondays has spent their last several years constructively opening for many national acts including legendary ska band The Toasters, Streetlight Manifesto, Mustard Plug, and Gym Class Heroes. They have performed at renowned Philadelphia venues such as the Trocadero, Grape Street Philadelphia, and the Theater of Living Arts.
Their show reeked of college frat humor and slapstick bravado mixed with outrageous pro showmanship as all seven members raced up to their mics at key points, jumping in the air with trombones, twirling trumpets and sax, spinning like veritable whirling dervishes and criss-crossing each other in a choreographed chaos of non-stop ska punk action.
Case Of The Mondays gives you tons of talent and overdriven fun any day of the week. Check out their latest disc because these guys are indeed awesome. myspace.com/caseofthemondays.
Remember, you can also check us out online over at theaquarian.com for the best music news in New Jersey, New York, and the world beyond. Comments are always encouraged here at the Shoreworld as well as throughout each issue.