New Earth Farmers – The Good Ones Got Away
This 8-track, 25-minute CD starts with a bright infectious tune (“Oh Mary”) that takes the rock n’ roll ala Americana guitars down a spiritual path without too much fire & brimstone. As entertaining as the work done by Randy Stonehill & the way Christian rocker Steve Taylor used to decorate his material (“Hero,” “Jim Morrison’s Grave”).
The songs are never aggressive but they each carry their own unique message with clarity & without getting too preachy or laying down any specific heavy delivery. The album doesn’t come up short with a lack of mainstream melodic appeal. Many of the songs just rock with genuine muscle as in “My Dog God.”
“Judgement Day,” is also a solid rocker in a World Party manner. Though they don’t possess a singular signature vocal as they do — but that’s not a distraction. It’s not their style. Their voices are made up of blending. Blending superbly. Their songs are savoring through their delicate vocalizations, meticulous arrangements & resplendent instrumentation. Not as avant-garde or noirish as say The Blue Nile, or Prayer Boat but they do have that sense of fluidity running through their notes & tones.
The collection of The Good Ones Got Away (Drops March 3–OneLipLuca) was recorded at 3 California locations & produced by Paul Knowles (vocals/guitars/keys/lyrics) & Peter Craft. Other New Earth Farmers are Nicole Storto (vocals/guitar/lyrics), Nigel Twist (drums) from The Alarm, James DePrato (guitars/lead guitars/lap steel) from Chuck Prophet, Kevin T. White (bass) also from Chuck Prophet, Alisa Rose (violin/viola/bass violin), Dave Zirbel (2nd lead guitar on “The Garden”) & Melissa Phillips Deprato (backing vocals on “The Garden”).
Their vocal approach isn’t new, but they maintain an expansive spirit in their showcase that offers up their well-manicured songs in a savoring style. “Waiting Such a Long, Long Time,” is a Karl Wallinger (World Party) cover rendered jubilantly with chiming guitars & drive. The band even includes one live cut from the Great American Music Hall in SF with “The Garden.” It’s a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tradition but with more pizzazz.
Highlights – “Oh Mary,” “My Dog God,” “Judgement Day,” “The Garden” & “Waiting Such a Long, Long Time.”
Color photograph provided by the New Earth Farmers website. Music samples & CD available @ Bandcamp. CD @ https://newearthfarmers.net/