Times Community Newspapers - Nov. 16, 2008
Fans of Alternative Country / Americana music- will find a lot to like on Andy Budd’s latest CD , “Too Proud To Whitewash – Too Poor To Paint.” The words are smart, the rhythms compelling, and folks will be humming the tunes of many of the songs for days after hearing Andy’s latest.
Like Andy’s first CD, “Saints and Scoundrels” which came out in 2006, “Too Proud To Whitewash – Too Poor To Paint” includes several songs that are autobiographical in nature, Most notably track 3 - "This Crazy Dream." Andy’s “crazy dream” for 30 years has been to become a familiar singing voice on the airwaves; but fear of taking the risk and leaving his “safe familiar path” has kept him from chasing his dream – until now.
In “Another Fall from Grace,” Andy expands on how tough the “money driven” music industry can be on artists who want to write and sing in their own style, but are left behind by fickle trends and fads. Take heart. As he says, “It’s better to be a used-to-be than to die a never-was.”
Not shy about commenting on those modern trends and fads, Andy skewers the pop culture embraced by the television networks on “I Can’t Watch My TV Anymore,” and debunks the drama and negativity so often seen in others on “No Cause for Singing the Blues.” As he optimistically sings on that track, “The path that I follow is filled with tomorrows.”
In a similar vein, on “Too Poor to Paint,” Andy describes the travails of a foolish man who has chosen to live way beyond his means in pungent, believable terms. No doubt, listeners will pick up on two colorful phrases in the song, “too proud to whitewash, too poor to paint,” and “all hat, no cattle,” and what they convey, and will use them to describe other people they know in similar situations.
Three songs in particular show how Andy has expanded his songwriting horizons on this latest CD. “Time Won’t Do It for Me” blends a country beat with folk, reminiscent of the intonations of Gordon Lightfoot. It is a beautiful song that makes a simple statement: his heart is broken, and will never heal. On “Don't Bother Calling,” Andy tells of the painful break-up of a 20-year friendship.
If those two songs are vague about how the singer/writer came to those points in his life, the track “Matthew 5:16” is quite clear. Believing that one has not become the man his adored father was is a recurring burden for many sons, and it happens just about every other generation or so. Andy’s father was a warrior - a decorated career Marine officer - who took a path Andy did not follow. Only after the truth is revealed in scripture does he learn that “There’s a different mission here on earth for every mortal man, and to be the man your father was is not part of the plan.” On all three of these tracks, the band and singers do an outstanding job, adding depth and feeling to Andy’s words.
Of course, not all of the songs on “Too Proud To Whitewash – Too Poor To Paint” are serious. Andy has a lot of fun with the rollicking “Jimmy Buffett for President” (also released on a single), “Have I Got a Deal 4 U,” and “Take Me Back to Mayberry,” a nostalgic return to the rural Southern village that was the scene of the Andy Griffith Show of the 1960s. We get it!
With its wide range of message and melody, “Too Proud To Whitewash – Too Poor To Paint” should score well on the Alt. Country scene. It is already one of my favorites, and belongs in your music collection as well. “Too Proud To Whitewash – Too Poor To Paint” will be available in November through www.CDbaby.com, itunes and other online retailers.
- John Toler
John Toler - Times Community Newspapers
Andy Budd - Chevy Dealer / Singer / Songwriter / Guitarist
Virginia-based Chevy Dealer and singer/songwriter Andy Budd grew up as the youngest of five kids of a military man. Andy, whose father, was a career Marine officer, lived in more U.S. states before graduating high school than most people ever visit in a lifetime.
Despite numerous addresses, he was lucky to be raised in a musical family. Andy naturally gravitated to learning music taking piano lessons in the third grade, took up trombone in fourth grade and playing until graduating high school. Andy was given his first guitar for Christmas when he was 16. Later in high school, Andy’s mom worked for a dentist who played guitar and sang at a local dive, and often invited Andy to fill-in for him during breaks at the bar. Andy says his fill-in slot soon led to other performing gigs at local bars that lasted until he was 20.
Although tempted to pursue a career in music, life took him in another direction at 21. Marriage created a whole new sense of responsibility driving the need to get a “real job.” Andy worked in fast food joints, bussed tables at restaurants, worked as a bartender, cab driver, ditch digger. He finally landed a job at a local car dealership as the night clean up boy. Within that company and a dozen different dealerships over the next 20 years, Andy worked his way up to eventually owning a Chevrolet Dealership.
Oddly enough, it was his work in the automobile business that led Andy back into a life of music. Andy’s dealership did so well that he won a corporate contest in 2004 that came with a high-end list of prizes from which he could select.
“I chose a Martin guitar – a Brazilian rosewood Eric Clapton limited edition – and when it arrived, I ran my fingers over it and fell in love,” Andy says, speaking of the moment when his early love of music came rushing back into him.
With an amazing new guitar in hand, Andy set aside one hour before and after work to start practicing and to fulfill his renewed obsession. Within a year, Andy was writing songs that would end up on the country-flavored Americana folk rock cd Saints & Scoundrels, his debut album released in 2007. Andy is following up Saints & Scoundrels with Too Proud To Whitewash - Too Poor To Paint, an album that furthers his growth as a singer/songwriter with more acoustic/electric americana folk tunes. Looking back on all the childhood moving and traveling, Andy doesn’t regret walking away from music at 21, but he’s sure glad he found his way back to music today.