Joe Farren | 'Til the Day

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'Til the Day

by Joe Farren

Farren's 'Til The Day takes us back to the days when songwriting was at the heart of making a good record. Every song on this CD stands on its own. The musical landscape draws on all American styles from blue eyed soul to alt-country.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Savannah
4:35 $0.99
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2. 'Til The Day
4:23 $0.99
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3. Last Chance
2:29 $0.99
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4. Away Forever
4:58 $0.99
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5. Lie to Me
3:55 $0.99
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6. Still On My Mind
4:07 $0.99
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7. Red Jacket
3:27 $0.99
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8. Believe
4:21 $0.99
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9. I'm Coming Home
3:40 $0.99
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10. Something
3:17 $0.99
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11. Broken Man
4:26 $0.99
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12. Go On
6:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
www.joefarren.com

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Reviews


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Portland Press Herald July 23rd 2007

Songs Look Inward, Outward AIMSEL L. PONTI July 23, 2007
Joe Farren teamed up with Tom Acousti and his team of producers at Sound Harbor Studios to make his latest record, ``Til the Day.`` Farren also brought in a posse of Maine musicians and some studio pros from Nashville.
Farren, in addition to vocals, plays guitar, piano, drums and harmonica.
Farren`s been ensconced in the midcoast music scene for the last few years and plays about 150 gigs a year. He`s now based out of Portland and you can find him playing in local venues as well as various spots around New England.
The players on this record include Lance Hoppen on bass, Robbie Coffin on electric guitar, saxophone from Richard Griffin, Rob Duquette on bass, and Johnny Bellar on the steel guitar with string arrangement done by Farren and Tom Acousti. Back-up vocals come from Acousti, Lance True and Krystal Louten. Over the course of the record`s 12 songs, you`ll also hear organ, dobro, fiddle, and violin.
The songs are best described as acoustic rockers with Americana sensibility. Farren counts Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Billy Joel among his influences.
He`s a 2004 graduate of the University of Southern Maine`s School of Music, and as a kid ditched the classical piano in favor of a drum kit and became an accomplished jazz drummer.
The piano came back into his life when he was 17, and it`s likely a permanent thing. While at USM he continued with the piano while also studying voice and guitar. Yes, he`s one of those annoying people who is a whiz at many instruments.
So let`s get down to brass tacks. Farren is a solid songwriter who draws on life experiences from both the interior and exterior vantage point.
``Well, I don`t have a red jacket like James Dean and I`m not as handsome as Springsteen but maybe I could offer more than a schoolgirl crush that still hangs on your wall,`` sings Farren on ``Red Jacket.`` Ozzy Osment`s violin zigs in and out of the song along with John Hughry`s dobro. Farren`s got a sturdy voice that has a country tinge to it.
``Believe`` is a piano-based song, with acoustic guitar from Acousti and gentle bass from John Lawson. ``I believe in the wisdom in the lines on your face and I`ll be following your exit as you drop out of this race.`` It`s a lonesome yet hopeful song in which Farren tries to restore the beauty of a rocky relationship.
``I`m Coming Home`` is a love letter to New Orleans, where Farren spent a semester while in school. The harmonica, piano and organ are terrific, as are the back-up vocals from Acousti and Krystal Louten. ``I`m going down to New Orleans, back to the city, to my river queen. So you can stop writing letters and put that phone card away cause baby I`m coming home.``
``Broken Man`` is infused with the troubled moodiness of a guy behind bars who wound up there when his aborted suicide attempt on railroad tracks caused an accident that killed a few people and injured a whole bunch. The fiddle adds to the torment of the song as do some subtle cymbal crashes.
``He jumped out of the car, 10 seconds he had left. Dropping to his knees and failing this attempt. Like everything before, he never took control, no he couldn`t even finish digging his own hole,`` laments Farren, at times using vocal effects to achieve a haunting edge.
``Til the Day`` is packed with ballads, medium tempo songs and some snappy blues rockers like the two-minute ``Last Chance`` and its fantastic saxophone.
Bonus points awarded for the superb production from Acousti. It`s got a grade A sound to it without being glossy or drab and is particularly enjoyable when it`s not raining and you can roll your car windows down on a back road and crank it.
For more info on Farren visit www.joefarren.com.
Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. She can be contacted at:
aimselponti@yahoo.com
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mainetoday.com

CD Review of Joe Farren's 'Til The Day by Bob McKillop July 17th 2007
An artist's debut CD is a very important one, and the choices that he makes in song selection, arrangements, and production qualities say a lot about what he is trying to accomplish. The CD can be a statement of who they are personally or artistically, it can be experimental, innovative, and improvisational, or it can be a showcase for their musical, performance, and songwriting talents. Joe Farren has chosen the showcase approach for his first CD, "Till The Day".
This is an album of twelve very different tracks, encompassing blues, jazz, rock, and acoustic folk, and starring Joe on piano and keyboards, acoustic guitar, organ, drums, vocals, and harmonica. The musicianship that Joe displays on this record is very, very impressive, and he has a great, natural vocal style that is expressive, accessible and easy to listen to. The variety in the music allows Joe to display his talents in many different contexts and combinations.

The CD contains a variety of guest talent as well. Richard Griffin's saxophone gets some well-deserved time in the spotlight in the lush, groovy, opening blues track, "Savannah", as well as in "Last Chance", and more subtly, in the cover of George Harrison's "Something". Ozzy Osment's diabolical fiddle work on "Lie To Me" give the song the frantic, angry feel that it needs. John Hughry's dobro is a very nice embellishment to "Away Forever". Rob Duquette's drum kit and Lance Hoppen's bass provide a solid foundation to a bunch of these songs.

I count no less than twenty-one other musicians providing instrumental or vocal contributions to this CD, giving it a very eclectic texture. Joe Farren's performance talent is the dough that holds this musical pizza together; it is Joe who makes it a cohesive body of work.

"Last Chance" is the cut that I enjoyed the most, in terms of pure listening pleasure. It is a simple, rollicking R&B shuffle, featuring slinky organ riffs on top of Joe's plinking, tinkling piano and the afore-mentioned Griffin sax foundation. Some sassy backing vocals by Krystal Louten provide the soul required in this tune, and Joe's lead vocals come forward in this track a way that I wish they did on some of the other cuts. The lyrics and melody are simple, easy to groove to, and fun. Joe seems to be in control here, and injects his spirit and energy into the mix. I couldn't help myself, I had to get up and dance to this one.

"Lie To Me", in my opinion, is the best example of Joe's songwriting talent. This is a plea from a soldier in today's desert battlefield to his girlfriend at home - lie to me one more time and tell me that you still love me, even though we both know it's over. The soldier bitterly compares the easy life enjoyed at home with his war experiences. The frantic, angry electric guitar, fiddle, and percussion tracks bring out the fear, anger, and frustration in the soldier's point of view.

"You've been toasting to your freedom, The ignorant bliss I used to know / When you were shooting down tequila, I was lining up the dead in rows / We both know the fairy tale is over, but even so, how about one last night for this solder?"

Tom Acousti of Portland's Sound Harbor Studios produced the majority of these tracks, and his vision for the album is very clear. He gave Joe the chance to display his considerable musical talent in a variety of styles and themes across the twelve tracks on this disc. He brought in a very talented crew of session musicians to augment and enhance the songs. The result is a lush, sophisticated, and complex record, full of many-layered tracks that are a pleasure to listen to. However, there are two songs on this record where Joe comes across in his most authentic style.

Joe's cover of George Harrison's "Something" (one of the most beautiful songs ever written, in my humble opinion!) is a great showcase of Joe's piano skills and his vocal talent. He digs into both the instrumental and the vocal parts on this song, and I'm betting they were recorded together, based on the groove with which Joe welds the two parts together. Very nicely done.

The last tune on the CD is "Go On", and this track also is very authentic. Aside from some nice backing vocals from Mr. Acousti, this is Joe on acoustic guitar, Joe on Harmonica, Joe's vocal. This is what you'd get from Joe in an intimate listening room or coffee house, and it's very, very nice. Punchy guitar, plaintive harmonica, powerful, deeply felt vocals, and a melody and lyric line that brings it all to your heart.

"Just leave the door open, 'cause as you walk out the whole world's walking in / When I swap out these old stings and start singing again"

There are a couple of tunes that fall a little short on songwriting, and Joe gets lost in the mix once in a while, but on the whole, this is a very entertaining record, and will definitely make you want to see Joe perform live. He is a very talented musician, songwriter, and performer, and I highly recommend you seek out a live show and purchase this CD.
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