Worcester Magazine. 2/25/2010
Merrick Section is in the neighborhood
Written by staff
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Merrick Section is bringing its alt-country/Americana rock to The Lucky Dog on Friday, Feb. 26. The band’s sound features a rock edge with electric guitars mixing with driving percussion, balancing out its unique spin on the genre. Members include Jim Walsh (drums, acoustic), Tom Doherty (electric/acoustic guitar), and Jeff Burch (bass, guitar), with all three contributing to vocals. The West Springfield trio, named after one of the city’s neighborhoods, is excited to come to Worcester.
“Although we’re based in West Springfield, we have some pretty deep Worcester roots,” says band member, Jim Walsh, noting that Doherty was born and raised in Worcester.
The band’s self-titled debut features 12 polished tracks. “The songs on the disc were written in a 10- to 12-month period starting in the summer of 2007,” Walsh says. “I wrote them on acoustic guitar, with no actual plan to go in the studio, because I was intending to relocate to Austin Texas.”
After a family member became ill, plans changed and Walsh turned to Plan B, turning his relocation funds into studio funds. In a whirlwind week, the band managed to work out arrangements and hit the studio. Luckily, it was a smooth seven days at Zing Studio in Westfield and Merrick Section wrapped up quickly.
Influencing the album’s style were Wilco’s Being There and The Sound of Lies by the Jayhawks. “I loved how both CDs featured simple songs, simple melodies, but still managed to rock.” Walsh says. Merrick Section performs easy-going, well crafted songs that offer a steady rock beat. Songs range from the irresistibly catchy (“A Crested Wave”) to the simmered down (“She’s an Angel”), showcasing all three members’ singing and instrumental talent.
In the CD’s liner notes, the band thanks “the city of Austin, Texas for the original inspiration that became these songs and this project.” Austin’s influence is noted on many tunes, such as the distinct country growl on the track “Lucky Stars.”
With two more albums’ worth of material waiting in the wings, (with a possibility of debuting a song or two at The Lucky Dog, Walsh hints) the band is hoping to return to the studio soon to reprise its blend of country, rock and roots.
“The finished product is very much a collaborative effort with the three of us,” says Walsh. “I am incredibly lucky to have these guys as friends and as musical partners.”
Merrick Section will be onstage at The Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green St., joined by Dave Magario, The Great Whiskey Rebellion, and The Glenn Stewart Band. 8 p.m. Take a listen to Merrick Section’s CD at myspace.com/merricksection.
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