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You can easily order this CD by mail: Send a check or money order for $15 and include $2.50 shipping and handling for the first disc (add $1 for each additional disc) Payment can be made out to:
Colin James McCaffrey
PO Box 58 E. Montpelier, VT 05651 USA
COLIN MCCAFFREY, TIRED OF TOWN (Self-released, CD)
"Colin McCaffrey's new CD, Tired of Town, is a gloriously tidy affair. His third solo release finds the central Vermont singer-songwriter bagging the overdubs for a stripped-down tour of some of his favorite music, past and present.
McCaffrey makes sure the attention is right where it belongs: on his exceptional guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass and vocal abilities. Except for a guest piano appearance by local mix master Chuck Eller, and some sweet baritone ukulele by Vermont musician Lewis Franco, Tired is all McCaffrey, all the time.
The album's vocals were recorded with a vintage RCA ribbon microphone, and the result is pleasantly warm and cozy. McCaffrey's gentle crooning is like vintage James Taylor, but with a more pronounced twang.
On Fats Waller's classic "Honeysuckle Rose," McCaffrey whistles the horn solos straight from one of the pianist's most famous Bluebird recording sessions. Hank Williams' plaintive "Weary Blues From Waiting" features a lovely and understated guitar solo. There's a bare-bones reading of Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," while Jimmie Rodgers' "Mississippi Delta Blues" comes with an authentic yodel.
McCaffrey's gorgeous take on the 1920s Tin Pan Alley chestnut "Bye Bye Blackbird" is nestled alongside four originals that fit well with his eclectic selection of covers.
The disc also features two cuts by Franco and Pete Sutherland. That these gifted Vermont songwriters would allow McCaffrey to record their tunes even before they had done so themselves is a testament to his reputation as a respected studio and onstage musician.
Tired of Town's spare, lovely arrangements leave no place to hide. But talent like McCaffrey's needs no obstruction; he goes out on the ledge with confidence." - ROBERT RESNIK, Seven Days
Colin McCaffrey: 'Busiest musician in town' May 19, 2006
East Montpelier singer-songwriter Colin McCaffrey recently issued his third solo album, "Tired of Town." If there is an award for "busiest musician in Vermont," Colin McCaffrey of East Montpelier should win it. McCaffrey is a singer, a multi-instrumentalist, an accomplished songwriter, a producer of quality albums - he won the Times Argus award for best producer for 2005 - and a performer in so many groups and partnerships that one wonders when he sleeps.
Add to this list of accomplishments his third solo compact disk: "Tired of Town." This CD highlights McCaffrey's talents as a singer, musician, instrumentalist and songwriter. It's a sparse but intimate work, mostly singer and guitar, playing in a variety of songs with a unifying theme. He has chosen classic tunes that give the CD a southern flavor, with a tone that is decidedly not 21st century. There's virtually no electric guitar here, mostly acoustic with some resonator guitar played for its blues/old-time feel. Tunes such as "Honeysuckle Rose," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Weary Blues from Waitin'" and "The Bottle Let Me Down," said McCaffrey in an interview, have long been in his solo repertoire and long requested for recording by his fans.
McCaffrey gives a nod to Vermont's other multi-talented producer-performer Pete Sutherland on the fine song "Wilderness Road," a tale of Vermonters fighting in the Civil War. This song, McCaffrey explained, was learned when performing with Sutherland.
"It's one of the most powerful tunes I've done," he said. McCaffrey also includes "September Son" by Calais' Lewis Franco. Here Franco, also an accomplished songwriter, contributes ukulele. McCaffrey said this song is in line with the feel of the album, as "a restful, retreating kind of feel, not a hyperactive song, with a vintage sound." This song also has a special place in his heart for he, too, is a September son.
The song line-up on "Tired of Town" reflects McCaffrey's interest in early 20th century American music. "Honeysuckle Rose" is pre-Depression as is "Bye Bye Blackbird." "Everybody Loves Her" by the Delmore Brothers, who were contemporaries of Bill and Charlie Monroe, comes from the late 1930s. McCaffrey's own composition, "Old Guitar," played on resonator guitar is another nod to music of that time. Here McCaffrey shows off his yodeling ability, yet another surprise in this performer's bag of musical tricks.
"Gypsy," also from McCaffrey, is a fine tune with a timeless sound, written in the Sutherland style, with a haunting melody also played on the resonator guitar. McCaffrey said it is not an accident that this album gives a nod to an earlier, country, blues and southern sensibility.
"I've been doing so much production, and I've been accused of being Mr. Slick, that I wanted do songs in their purest form." In this vein, he has achieved his goal. Early 20th century country music, such as might be heard from Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers, the "Singing Brakeman," comes to mind. It was this style, recently popularized in the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" that was the vehicle for bringing rural musical forms to the urban population of America before World War II. Rodgers performed with little more than a guitar to back his music. Blues, too, was a solo art form and singers like Robert Johnson presented most early blues recordings with only a guitar. McCaffrey, as much as is possible in 2006, is true to this style on this CD.
"This is the type of music I like to listen to, old scratchy 78s," McCaffrey explained. He admits that music presented this way "is a pretty naked style of production." For much of this album McCaffrey sat down with a guitar and vocal mike and recorded the songs in just one take. Later he returned to the songs overdubbing some mandolin, fiddle and bass where needed. Why work this way?
"I was going for a straight-up feel. I didn't want to candy it up too much," said McCaffrey. "It goes with the title. I wanted to keep this album simple. "It doesn't mean in the future I won't produce an opus," he quipped. In previous CDs, his first, Nashville produced "What We've Got," and his second, Vermont produced "Make Your Way Home," McCaffrey relied on studio musicians to flush out his work. With "Tired of Town" McCaffrey has found the perfect vehicle for this style of music. With minimal instrumentation, a wide variety of songs from his own songbook and that of other, strong composers, he has achieved a very well rounded, easy to listen to and satisfying album.
By Art Edelstein Arts Correspondent, Times Argus