REVIEW: Write By the Sea – Vol. 2″ Compilation Will Please the Strictest Ear


Write By The Sea – Vol. 2 – Compilation

Musicians gather at a house in St. George Island, Florida to write, record & produce songs for charity – this time — brain cancer research. It’s the 2nd volume from this non-profit to raise money for charitable causes.

The 11-cut compilation Write By The Sea (Hubbub! Records – drops June 26) is kicked off by some interesting tightly constructed alt-rock deliveries & then some.

“Paradise,” by Bradley Rhodes & Shannon Labrie is most creative with its subtle music & overlapping vocals with aggressive harmony-laced singing. This has a wonderful groove, an infectious performance.

The deep soulful vocals of Shannon with Michael Logen follow on “Let It Go.” A bluesy reminder of Bonnie Raitt & the tune has a consistent soulful guitar mindful of Stax, Muscle Shoals. It’s a delight despite its retro pedigree.  The CD boasts styles as diverse as folk, rock, pop, soul & Americana throughout. It’s guaranteed to please the strictest, purist ear. It’s a cohesive project from a diverse group of musicians who met each other for the first time at the sessions.

Proceeds are earmarked from this project for brain cancer research. These musicians have contributed to multiple charities through these efforts & raised generous amounts of bullion from a minimum of 38 states. That’s to be admired. They also perform their songs at live concerts & festivals.

“Bluebirds,” (Todd Wright & Ethan Mentzer) rolls along at a nice clip filled with beautiful Beach Boys type vocals. Instantly likable.

“Blackout Lullaby,” has muscle as performed by Steve Everett & Bradley Rhodes. Their combined voices work well & the song is compelling without being dramatic. There are many tracks here that are simply enjoyable despite many performers not being top tier music industry stars with instantly recognizable names. The talent is genuine, it’s a labor of love & there are no flat tires on this bus.

Many songs are well-written & performed but some kick into high gear – “Yankee Girl in Nashville,” smokes with inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd energy. The entire ensemble of 10 musicians contribute to the final cut “This Love of Mine” & come off sounding a little like the 70s ensemble Delaney & Bonnie & Friends sans the Eric Clapton lead guitar.

But the spirit is there & this has the necessary energy to perk up ears. A good engaging set. I’m going back to listen to “Paradise” again.

The LP was produced by Rock by the Sea — Brian Fechino except “Lean into Me,” (Brian with Todd Wright, & Ethan Mentzer). Tracks “Bluebirds,” & “What It Takes,” (Todd Wright & Ethan), & “Blackout Lullaby,” (Ben Jackson). All well-done.

The 34-minute CD is available at


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