The NEO Music Scene Has Major League Talent
New Music from Shivering Timbers, Roger Hoover, and Brian Lisik
There has been some great music from Northeast Ohio players this past year, led by Akron native sons The Black Keys touring the world promoting El Camino. I have already touched on some other artist’s getting some national exposure including Ryan Humbert, Alex Bevan, and Kate Tucker. Our area local songwriters are out showcasing their original music and working hard to make a living as musicians any place that will have them perform. Some even take the show on the road, traveling across the state and country hoping to gain a larger audience and appreciation of their work. So it is my honor and privilege to tell you the band Shivering Timbers, and troubadours Roger Hoover and Brian Lisik will all be releasing brand new albums. The three albums cover different genera’s are unique and brilliant to their wide spectrum listening audience.
Husband and wife team of Sarah Benn (upright bass, banjo lead vocals) and Jayson Benn (electric guitar) are Shivering Timbers and will be releasing their second record titled Sing Sing on September 4th. The sophomore follow-up to their Dan Auerbach produced 2010 release, the new disc has a very retro ‘60’s psychedelic sound that is also fresh and new. Self-produced along with the help of Brian Olive, the thirteen tracks were recorded at The Diamonds in Cincinnati and mixed by Collin Dupuis at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville. The flow takes you on a listening journey from the opening title track to the final number. I love the beautiful ballad “Annalee” with its twangy-edged blues guitar riffs to “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” with opening banjo/gospel that leads to a layered heavy bass/guitar climax. “Wayfaring Stranger” is dark and mysterious compared to the dreamy and whimsical “All Our Days” written by Joey Beltram of Good Morning Valentine. The Benn’s add a slice of parental humor with “The Mopping Floor” and a cool take on the Neil Diamond classic “Holly, Holy”.
Next, we move on to the gritty Americana of Roger Hoover who just recently released his new record Lay My Rituals Down. Formally with the The Whiskeyhounds and The Magpies, Hoover’s playing is unmistakable with his “Frankenstein” Fender Telecaster (which is constructed of parts from different years to make a unique guitar with excellent action and vintage tone) and Craftsman socket wrench slide. Recorded with his new backing band The Hurt consisting of Kevin Martinez on upright and electric bass, Eric Baltrinic on drums, and Ysabel Price on harmony vocals, it’s three yards and a cloud of dust as Hoover rips through songs like “Eastern Standard Time”, “Girl’s Got A Hold on Me”, and title track. Produced by Mike Beder and recorded at The Engine Room in Kent, the band changes things up on “Old Lover’s Songs” which is a real country bleeder along with the crescent city sound of “First Bullet”. Hoover shines as a great storyteller on “Full Force Gale” and lays down some beautiful solo guitar work on the closing ballad ‘Nearness of You”. Roger Hoover and The Hurt now includes Daniel Holmes on guitar/space echo and will hit the road opening for The Band of Heathens later this fall.
A true rock and roller, Brian Lisik will be releasing his new solo record The Mess That Money Could Buy that has the winning formula of catchy phrasing, jangly guitar riffs, and great pop hooks that will remind folks of players like Willie Nile, Jesse Malin, and Tom Petty. Produced on Lisik’s own Cherokee Queen Records and promoted nationally by Michael J Media Group, many of the 11 new songs just want you to get up and dance along starting with the opening track “Small Town Royal Family”. “Change On Your Own” is one of those summer day singles that will have you driving a little faster down the highway with the windows rolled down. Recorded at Audio Spectrum in Cleveland, performing with Lisik include usual suspects Steve Norgrove (bass and guitar) and Craig Lisik (Drums and guitar). Ben Evans from the Ryan Humbert Band adds piano and organ throughout and is highlighted on the Lisik acoustic storyteller “I’m Satisfied”. The lovely Jen O’Neal from the band Open Range adds a little cello and violin to songs like “Yesterday Wasn’t Real” and “Longest Day of the Year” along with beautiful harmony on “Five Other Rooms” to give Lisik’s songs that vintage Rod Stewart country comfort. The album closes on a very spiritual note with the very touching “Last Words”.
Music is the common threads that are the ties that bind us all. Roger, Brian, and the Benn’s are all really nice Midwestern folks, so make time to check them out at a future performance date. Not only do they appreciate the love and support, but also the interaction with the audience both on and off the stage. Clink onto their Facebook link or Google their home pages for updates, e-blasts, and music samplings.