|The Veitch Boys E.P.
The Veitch Boys (frontman Michael Veitch and his assembly of studio talent) play surf-rock in the style of The Beach Boys. In fact, they appear to be Veitch’s favorite group, if not the one that has influenced their self-titled EP The Veitch Boys the most. Built on rich, dense vocal harmonies and the bright guitar sounds of classic pop, Veitch has closely analyzed how his favorite ‘60s hits work and used that to craft his own songs. While he largely stays faithful to the genre’s earmarks musically and lyrically, there are a few moments where he puts a new spin on things to great effect.
“Drive” is the opener, a light-hearted jingle, that like many songs before it and countless others in the future, frames the joys of freedom as driving with no particular destination during the days of summer. A bit typical lyrically, the music itself offers solid hooks in the bouncing keyboard melody and the beautifully harmonized vocals (a recurring element throughout the EP). It’s the song that comes closest to that vaunted Beach Boys sound: mid-tempo and filled with the requisite background “ooooooh,” it’s catchy and universal. The next track “August Nights” follows similar motifs, swapping genres to dabble in doo-wop. Again, it’s a nostalgic throwback, romanticizing summer for a good slow dance.
Things venture into less tried and true territory midway into the EP. “Close to the Flame” puts emphasis on piano chords while de-emphasizing to some degree the harmonized vocals. Listening passively you may think it a continuation of the last track as it carries that same swaying final number feel. But the story told, though still in Veitch’s joyful tone, is surprisingly bleak. “I’m here to confess/some years were just a mess/crawling through the dark/with a knife in my chest.” Hiding behind the EP’s easy-going attitude is this extended moment of self-recognition and defeat. Certainly the odd duck in the group, but thanks to the delivery and execution it doesn’t sound too far out of place.
“My Old Car” offers a similar inversion of the happy-go-lucky ways of surf-rock. The sunny strumming gives way to detailed descriptions of how the treasured old car has been destroyed by the progression of time. Though not as hopeless as the previously described track (here the memories of what the car once was trump its present state), it still hit me as a delightful shock.
Overall The Veitch Boys EP is a nice walk through the past with a few unexpected turns onto roads less traveled. Though a bit too comfortable at times, it plays close—and very well—to the roots it seeks to honor.
Breaking news Update Dec. 5, 2014
Many Many thanks to the following radio stations that have just added “First Snow of the Year” for this holiday playlist season:
New Radio Interview and performance on WOOL 91.5 Bellows Falls Vermont, US July 18,2014
Tune In: New Live Streaming Radio Interview and Performance-Up Close and Acoustic-click here-
“Postcards From Vermont Vol 1″ reviewed:
http://www.indieartistsalliance.com/ (search by title or date: Aug. 14,2013)
Breaking News May 30, 2013
Postcards From Vermont Vol. 1 has been released and is available for sampling and download at many sites. Try http://cdbaby.com/cd/michaelveitch14
where you can sample and buy the downloads for individual songs or the whole album. For a signed actual Postcard Download card, visit http://veitchstore.blogspot.com
For a complete track list, lyrics and all the info, visit http://veitch-postcards.blogspot.com
Breaking News April 14, 2013
In Good Company
Here’s the track list for Judy Collin’s New Live DVD ” Live at the Metropolitan Museum Temple of Dendur” -there are guest appearances by Ani Difranco, Shawn Colvin , Kenny White and Jimmy Webb, and it’s great!
Track Listing: Judy Collins Live at Temple of Dendur DVD
1. Open the Door (J. Collins)
2. Both Sides Now (J. Mitchell)
3. Diamonds and Rust (J. Baez)
4. Campo De Encino (J. Webb)
5. Pure Imagination (A. Newley, L. Bricusse)
6. Some Day Soon (I. Tyson)
7. Veteran’s Day (M. Veitch)
8. Helplessly Hoping (S. Stills)
9. Pastures of Plenty (W. Guthrie)
10. Suzanne (L. Cohen)
11. In the Twilight (J. Collins)
12. Mr. Tambourine Man (B. Dylan)
13. Moon is a Harsh Mistress (J. Webb)
14. Since You’ve Asked (J. Collins)
15. The Blizzard (J. Collins)
16. Send in the Clowns (S. Sondheim)
I am truly honored to have my anti-war song Veteran’s Day recorded by Judy Collins (in duet with Kenny White) for her latest album Bohemian” on Wildflower Records. She is a great songwriter in her own “write” but also one of the all time greatest interpreters of other people’s works—Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Stephen Sondheim…and many more…it’s a long list.
Through a song contest called Music To Life,” started by Noel Paul Stookey and managed by his daughter Liz, my song found it’s way to Judy who was a judge that year. That was about six years ago and, considering it to be a “jewel” of a song, she grabbed it for herself and a future recording project. That project is Bohemian which also features greats such as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Webb, old friend Shawn Colvin fellow Woodstockers Ollabelle. I had the good fortune of meeting Judy and catching up with Kenny in Paris in early October, 2011. She put on a very strong performance, to say the least, and had the room singing and stomping at the end. My best wishes for Bohemian‘s success and if Judy is playing anywhere nearby-be sure to go see her-she’s truly amazing.