New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CD REVIEW: U.S. Rails (4 Stars)

%3Cdiv+class%3D%22separator%22+style%3D%22clear%3A+both%3B+text-align%3A+center%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Ca+href%3D%22http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.bl~spot.com%2F_J5Dzyd6Uigk%2FTJkaISJOU8I%2FAAAAAAAAAOk%2FlrQixoRW7dk%)vs1600%2FUSRailsCD.jpg%22+imageanchor%3D%22102+style%3D%22clear%3A+left%3B+float%3A+left%3B+margin-bottom% I+18m%B+mrgin-right%3C+1em%2s%22%3E%3CimgAsorder$3D%220%2 +heigho%320%+src%3D%22http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F_J5Dzyd6Uigk%2FTJkaISJOU8I%2FAAAAAAAAAOk%2FlrQixoRW7dk%2F;00%2FUSRailsCD.jpg%22+width%3D%22200%22+%2F%3E%3C%2Fa%3E 3C%2Fdrv%3E%0D%0AU.S.+Rails+is+the+new+name+for+the+former+Philadelphia-based+band+4+Way+Street.%26nbsp%3B+Long-time+fans+will+not+be+disappointed+in+the+direction+of+the+band+as+the+debut+by+U.S.+Rails+may+be+even+stronger+than+the+lone+record+released+by+4+Way+Street.%26nbsp%3B+The+%22supergroup%22+of+sorts+continues+to+include+Ben+Arnold%2C+Scott+Bricklin%2C+Joseph+Parsons%2C+and+Matt+Muir+and+now+adds+Tom+Gilliam+to+replace+Jim+Boggia.%26nbsp%3B+The+pairing+brings+together+a+mix+of+great+songwriters+who+all+have+very+distinct+vocal+styles+that+compliment+each+other.%26nbsp%3B+The+end+result+is+a+largely+brilliant+fo~lowup*Jecord+that+is+sure+to+please+long-time+fans+and+make+many+new+ones.%0D%0A%0D%0AAs+with+4+Way+Street%C+the+um+is+once+again+greater+than+its+parts.%26nbsp%3B+U.S.+Rails+is+an+amazing+group+that+clearly+conjures+up+memories+of+Crosby%2C+Stills%2C+Nash+%26amp%3B+Young+through+their+wonderful+harmonies+and+acoustic+guitars.%26nbsp%3B+Band+members+once+again+rotate+lead+singer+duties+throughout+the+record+and+occasionally+all+take+part+as+in+the+great+opening+tune%2C+%22Lucky+Stars.%22%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ci%3E%22Does+anybody+know+how+lucky+we+are%3F%0D%0AJust+bangin%27+on+drums%2C+strummin%27+our+guitars%0D%0AJust+tryin%27+to+have+fun+in+some+dark+and+dusty+bar%0D%0AIn+the+morning%2C+when+I+wake+up%0D%0AI+thank+my+lucky+stars%22%3C%2Fi%3E%0D%0A--+Lucky+Stars%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+record+steers+a+bit+more+towards+country-rock+than+its+pop-rock+based+predecessor.%26nbsp%3B+Songs+like+%22Gonna+Shine%22%2C+%22Good+Times%22%2C%26nbsp%3B+%22Burning+Fire%22%2C+and+%22Man+Down%22+are+closest+to+those+found+on+the+4+Way+Street+record%3B+while+tunes+like+%22Simple+Plan%22+and+%22Shine+The+Light%22+have+an+almost+%E2%80%9870s+classic+rock+kind+of+feel.%0D%0A%0D%0AOverall%2C+it%27s+an+extremely+strong+disc+that+I+recommend+highly.%26nbsp%3B+In+fact%2C+it%27s+probably+one+of+my+two+or+three+favorite+records+of+the+year+and+a+staple+on+my+car+stereo.%26nbsp%3B+If+you+were+a+fan+of+4+Way+Street%2C+go+ahead+and+pick+up+a+copy%2C+you+won%27t+be+let+down.%26nbsp%3B+If+you%27ve+never+heard+of+the+former+band%2C+but+are+a+fan+of+artists+like+CSN%26amp%3BY+or+the+Indigo+Girls%2C%26nbsp%3B+you%27ll+dig+this+too.%26nbsp%3B+%0D%0A%0D%0AI+think+one+of+the+reasons+CSN%26amp%3BY+succeeded+where+others+have+failed+is+because+their+songs+didn%27t+sound+forced%3B+they+sounded+as+if+they+were+meant+to+be+recorded+that+way+--+the+harmonies+weren%27t+a+gimmick%2C+but+an+integral+part+of+the+equation.%26nbsp%3B+The+same+thing+is+happening+here.%26nbsp%3B+U.S.+Rails+is+a+bunch+of+long-time+friends+who+realized+one+day+that+they+could+all+add+to+each+other%27s+tunes+and+take+them+to+a+higher+place.%26nbsp%3B+There%27s+no+denying+that+the+band+enjoys+playing+music+together+and+is+having+fun.%26nbsp%3B+When+that+sort+of+thing+happens%2C+it%27s+an+amazing+experience.%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ci%3E%22These+are+the+good+times%2C%0D%0AWe+drink+to+remember%2C+we+drink+to+forget%0D%0AYeah%2C+the+good+times%0D%0AAnd+we+ain%27t+seen+the+best+of+them+yet%22%3C%2Fi%3E%0D%0A--+Good+Times