Barbraland is more than a state of time, spirit and place, it’s also Ellis Reed’s second CD. Acoustic Rock with splashes of blues, jazz, old time country, classic rock and alterna-folk. 11 songs carefully crafted yet open to chance in a seascape of sound using fiddles, drums, percussion, mandolins, keyboards, guitars (slidey, steely, bassy, and woody), blues harps, banjers, and of course all kinds of vocals flying through the songs.
1) Me The Savior - A driving pulse with mysterious lyrics and violins.
2) No Wing Better – Jam Band fell in a tight package. The Allmans, The Dead, that other guy. A nice groove that says “more guitars now now !!! now!!!”
3) Diane Dress – What would Steely Dan do if they had no keyboards and if they thought a sixth was the shot you drank after finishing the fifth of vodka. Childhood memories whipped into mandolin solos.
4) Sleep – What’s better that a pedal steel guitar, a pedal steel guitar and this song. A ballad that stops time (for about 3 minutes)
5) Stones In The Road – A songs that takes pieces of The Band, Allman Brothers, J.D. Salinger, and the Dead, mixes them together so that the song is defined by it’s indefinability.
6) Jennifer – A song about family and air travel with a Neil Young feel (Harvest), and swirly vocal effects.
7) Left Behind – An old cherry drum kit touched by brushes, slide guitar, and blues harp slink out the suburban blues.
8) The Boy – We really like Kate Bush here. I mean really really.
9) Carolyn’s Dollhouse – A song that is sorta bout sex , sorta bout longing and desire, sorta bout percussion and rain.
10) Wu – A Gospel Choir song without a choir. This song is about the silence between the beats of a heart. (but the song itself is not silent)
11) The Path – Old time country meets New Age philosophy. And it has banjos.
I think we really put it all into this collection. The only thing missing is you.
Capturing and channeling the 60's and 70's as a tool and not as a calculated 'retro' classification, Ellis Reed simply works as a its own radio station, capturing the flavor without the bitter aftertaste of, "that sounds like…".
Promising and delivering a fresh approach to acoustically derived music, the completely original Barbraland, gives us a new melody to play in our heads. And smartly, gives us more to wonder about as the tracks unfold.
Barbraland has that ability to take make 45 minutes disappear in its entirety without notice. One really needs to have a sit and to get lost in the recording. In that way, it's quite an achievement when most commercial efforts are just now singles with pap thrown in.
Thumbs up and 4 out of 5 stars. Brian from Penn.
Ok. I listened to the new cd driving to Atlanta and on the way back. I absolutely love it. It IS different...and yet, not. You guys have a distinct stamp on your sound. The music is incredible, the strings and beats are so crisp and clear. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful I think your voice is. You all rock!
Peace! And thanks for putting out great music that keeps me smiling! Becky from Tenn.