What's Your Sign?
One of USA TODAY's Ken Barnes' Picks for Best CD's of 2007! A Soundstage! Magazine 'Best Recording of 2007'! 'Wasn't necessarily expecting good alt-country from a Manhattan band, but got it anyway. The songs' obvious intelligence doesn't get in the way of the solid, often enthralling music.' Ken Barnes--Music Editor, USA Today Well, there's something happening down on the Lower East side of Manhattan that has the NYU intellectual types pushing their horned-rimmed specs back up their noses and the downtown cowboys dancing in the isles (dancing's illegal in NYC bars though, so please don't tell!). There's an Americana scene emerging just blocks away from where Dylan first showed up with his acoustic guitar and where Joey Ramone tore through CBGB's, that somehow embraces the spirit of both yet has the down-home feel that only the world's biggest small town can provide. Out of this NYC Americana scene come Joe Cassady & The West End Sound with their Avenue A Records debut release, What's Your Sign? Raised on Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Kris, schooled by Bob Dylan, and having done some post-grad studies in the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle, songwriter Joe Cassady's musical scholarship leads the listener through the diverse cross-section of the Americana soundscape that is What's You Sign? All the while, the lyrics draw on historical, religious, literary, folk and pop-culture references to structure a sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious dreamscape counterpoint to the oft-troubled landscape of our times. While acknowledging and even embracing the uncertainty around us the songs on What's Your Sign? profess a persistent belief in the presence of good old fashioned hope at the bottom of it all. 'This second CD by Joe Cassady & the West End Sound is an engaging collection of paradoxes. Driven by bass, guitar, drums, and keyboard and rich in instrumental breaks and introductions, it showcases some interesting lyrics. Sounding casual and spontaneous, it is also well rehearsed and polished. Wearing influences on it's sleeve, it is still very original. It is reminiscent of late-'60s garage-band arrangements, yet advanced and expert recording and mixing replace that old-time muddiness with pleasing clarity.' Soundstage! "I've heard this guy lots of times and never realized the wealth within so many of his songs . . . There's a lot to recommend this. [The songs in What's Your Sign?] open, yielding further benefit with each subsequent listen." Urban Folk "Their music delivers what exists now like a mirror reflection . . . It tells it like it is in a folksy/poetic style, baring the wounds in an undisguised, thought provoking oration." Northeast In Tune 'Imagine yourself on the road in an old school Cadillac, your friends by your side with the open road in front of you. It's an image that should make you smile. Now all you need is some Joe Cassady music in the background and you're set. His calm yet upbeat sound made me want to get in a car and drive, and I don't have a license . . . Cassady's lyrics tell stories which made me want to write my own.' HOT INDIE NEWS.com This self-produced Avenue A Records release marks, Joe Cassady & The West End Sound's full-length, full-band, studio debut. Recorded by Mitch Rackin at Tonefloat Studios on Manhattan's Lower East Side and mixed and mastered by the Grammy winning duo of Nick Cipriano (Beat Street Music) and Steve Kadison (Sony Music), What's Your Sign? features the songs of lead singer and songwriter Joe Cassady along with the cosmic barroom backing of his crack band, The West End Sound. Shu Nakamura lays down crunching rhythm guitar and soaring slide licks as well the occasionally well-placed mandolin, mando-guitar, or Oud part while Aaron Gardner (Bass) and Anthony Bax (Drums) anchor the rhythm section. Session men Dan Nachimson (Organ, Piano) and Christo Logan (Cello) are the smoke to the live sound that Joe Cassady and The West End Sound have been setting fire to the NYC underground scene with for years.
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