Brian Krumm & His Barfly Friends – Just Fade Away
The songs for this album were written in 2020 & Brian Krumm (guitar/vocals) delivers a nice whiskey-expressive voice. According to the PR each day he would begin his writing session with a single shot of whiskey. Not that he should make it a habit but the songs are intriguing & well-performed. I think the more mainstream singer-songwriters drink chocolate milk before they sit down. I’ll listen to Brian.
With his open on “Barfly Friends,” he manages to add an atmospheric sense much the same way the late Leonard Cohen did. While this is a bit grittier subject-wise Krumm is effective. His voice exudes a warm sincere tone.
The Chicago-based artist with admitted influences in Dylan, Warren Zevon, the Jayhawks & Robyn Hitchcock sounds often closer, far closer to Leonard Cohen without the romantic underpinnings. With a gentle female vocal that surfaces on songs like “Just Fade Away,” & “Good Times Not the Bad,” he has that Cohen impression & impulse. Lines like “I loved you when no one else would…” Typical Cohen twist & Krumm has it working for him with the rest of his sensitive songs.
Krumm’s material isn’t as cynical as Warren Zevon’s & tunes like “Steve & the Miracle 3,” have a light-touch Tom Waits narrative. Effective. Enjoyable. The melody has a galloping beat & Krumm’s vocals are wonderfully suited to the guitar & harmonica. Maybe this is more Dylan-inspired but I hear Krumm’s own magic & it resonates.
The 11-song collection produced by Christian Moder (drums/percussion/keys/vocals) & Brian Krumm for Just Fade Away (Drops June 2– Pravda Records) is a delight with tunes like “Never Do As I’m Told,” — excellently performed.
I played it twice simply since as easy-going as the title suggests it’s quite a creative idea. It kicks hard, it’s relatable. Dipped liberally in a John Hiatt-style mandolin & heavy-handed drum beat it has an alchemy that begs repeated listening. Brian Krumm is a captivating artist with a great crew of musicians.
Highlights – “Barfly Friends,” “Just Fade Away,” “Steve & the Miracle 3,” “Never Do As I’m Told,” “Good Times Not the Bad,” “Stuck In the Van” & “Wasn’t Born Yesterday,” (with horns & sounding like less-weightier David Clayton-Thomas – quite good).
Musicians – Dana Anderson (vocals), Tony Artimisi (drums), Erik Attkisson (bass), Jake Brookman (cello), Laura Coy, Hazel Krumm, Vivian Krumm (vocals), Pete Galanis (guitars), Jessie Hotaling (vocals &co-lead vocals on 3 songs), Brian Hunt (bass/vocals), Dirk McElravey (bouzouki/mandolin), Kristina Priceman (violin), Nelson Strange (guitars), Brian Wilkie (pedal steel/guitars), additional production on the CD was provided by Brian Leach (keyboards/vocals/guitars). The Montrose Horns: Jon Boley (trumpet), Rich Lapka (trombone/horn arrangements) & Justin Past (sax).
B&W photo courtesy of website gallery/photographers Gibran Hadj-Chikh, Uli Pfeufer & Stephen Austin Welch.
CD available/Music Samples @ https://briankrummandhisbarflyfriends.bandcamp.com/album/just-fade-away & https://briankrumm.com/