When you look at the fact that Quincy Mumford has only been in the professional arena for a few years, it’s pretty amazing to see and hear what he’s accomplished in that time. A lot of guys I know will say, “He hasn’t paid his dues.” But in reality, he has done just that. Starting with his first self-titled disc in 2008, Mumford quietly set nose to the grindstone, playing and learning everything he could get his hands on about writing and life on the road. By the time South Edgemere hit a year later, Mumford was a mere step away from discovering the style and sound that would form his latest musical release titled Speak.
Speak mixes it up comfortably, nodding to several styles without sacrificing Mumford’s carefully nurtured identity. His cultivated knowledge of writing, playing and sensible production keeps this platter out of the copycat zone and deep into the receptive hearts of real music fans. The list of musicians who played on Speak is also impressive, and I can tell why they were hand picked for each of the songs on this CD.
Players like Matt O’Ree, P.K.Lavengood and Jimmy Farkas lay down guitar work that ranges from scratchy funk up-strokes to down and dirty truck stop, country bends. There isn’t a player on here that doesn’t lead his field. Throw in veteran guys like Matt Wade, Alex Brumel and Glen Burtnik and you have a dangerously good arsenal for your studio disc.
Speak was produced by Jon Leidersdorf (Lakehouse Music). Leidersdorf also played on Speak, along with other notables like Jeff Mann, Karlee Bloomfield and Neil Winkler.
Listening to Speak was an interesting process for me as well. Here are a few of the standouts:
“Speak My Mind” mixes the rhyming moxy of G. Love with the sparse and funky, blues-tinged hip-hop of Special Sauce. Laid back, easy and tight in the groove, “Speak My Mind” is a contender to any reigning pop radio kings out there today.
Another groove-based funkster is “Sunshine.” This sleek, fast-paced number bounces on top of whirling organs, horn arrangements and wah-wah guitars that toss out strong Kool & The Gang vibes as Quincy’s machine gun quick rap pushes the song straight into a hot, pop chorus that ties the whole thing together well.
“Full Tank Of Gas” fuels the up-tempo soul of the blues and is one of the chosen hits of the disc, in my opinion. Featuring the one and only Matt O’Ree, this tune rips down and dirty. Smooth, and once again G. Love close, Mumford holds court, bowing out of the way as O’Ree swipes big, greasy blues lines down the middle of the piece. The tone is all Les Paul snarl and selector switch feedback. Once again Mumford’s chorus is a killer and demonstrates his dynamic ability to put the attention on the key areas of a song without being repetitive and lazy.
“Another Love Song” lets loose with a healthy dose of honky-tonk twang as Mumford lays it all on the table of lyrical love gone wrong. The band stomps, rumbles and flat picks to beat the devil and Johnny Cash. Chicken pickin’ guitar growl (courtesy of P.K. Lavengood) makes this little spitfire tune sizzle and pop.
“Diamond In the Rough” is my choice for the radio spotlight. Quincy’s signature funk, country, pop mix works like clockwork, all parts coming together and pushing from within. The vocals ride atop slick Nashville beats and Memphis lazy slide guitars. Backing vocals blend into a huge and ultra catchy chorus.
The desolation of “Losing You” is stark and emotionally haunting. Visions of passing people, the fear of fading love and the powerless anguish that all we will eventually gain or lose is unstoppable by us. Powered by Mumford’s acoustic guitar and vocal, this lonely, orchestrated gem is my favorite.
I feel that Speak is a high point for Mumford as it has separated him from that Dave Matthews, jammy high school vibe and purified his atmosphere with some truly memorable sounds, and stand out compositions of a seasoning writer. In a world full of errors and choices, Quincy Mumford has discovered the right direction for his musical future. Open, empathetic and honest, Speak matches the very stride of the man who created it. Go check it out over at: quincymumford.com.
Lost In Society- A Wildcard Success
Asbury Park’s own Lost In Society are anything but lackadaisical wallflowers. Mixing the live and enthusiastic attitude of The Offspring with the smartass appeal of The Kids Table, Aquabats or The Flaming Tsunamis, LIS continue to wow new audiences with cutting compositional skills and live action thrills in clubs across the country. With a brand new release, Give Me Your Hope, the band’s follow-up to its 2010 debut full-length release, Eastern Empire, and their recent powerhouse win at a New Jersey-based Metromix band competition, LIS are proving that their longevity and aggressive style are the winning combination that has made them standouts in the humdrum deluge of rock and roll clones. The band recently competed against 20 other bands in this major contest, moving into the finals and crushing the competition with huge support.
Tucking over $30,000 in prizes under their collective belts, Lost In Society have once again turned their full-time attention on winning new fans and hitting the road. Part of the winning prize will be a Northeast regional tour and a pressing of the group’s new disc in both single and full release formats.
Before taking home the gold, the contest consisted of an online period of fan and viewer voting, an initial live competition, which gave them the chance to perform again at the Wildcard Round, and then the finals, which took place on March 3, 2011. The group showed extreme dedication throughout the six-month period and proved their talent as musicians. Their raw energy, flawless musicianship and die-hard fans won them the prize package worth over $30,000.
Lost In Society is no stranger to hard work and they have gained some serious attention over the years through their non-stop efforts. From working with consummate producers such as Jon Leidersdorff, who produced and recorded their first EP, Gone, to sharing the big stage with bands such as The Pie Tasters and HR from The Bad Brains, LIS continue to show why people are singing their praises.
Speaking of praise, the band has been nominated every year in the East Coast entertainment industry’s favorite show, The Asbury Music Awards.
Nominations include Best Young Band in 2007 and 2008, Best Young Band and Best Punk/Reggae Band in 2008 and 2009, Song of the Year (“Not My Day”), Top Local Release (“Eastern Empire”) and Top Punk/Ska Band in 2010.
Lost In Society can be seen live as they open for Tim Barry and The Bouncing Souls on July 9 at Highline Ballroom in NYC. Lost in Society is: Zach Moyle on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Ruroede on bass and back-up vocals and Hector Bonora on drums.
For more information on society’s reigning rock and roll kingpins, head over to: lostinsociety.net.