As written by Mark Lush, Midwest Bands ::
Musicianship - 10 out of 10
There are products that you know are going to be good when you see the manufacturer's name affixed to them! Frito-Lay and Hostess are names that come to mind! In the same way, you can be sure that a CD that has Greg Waters' name on it is going to be worth hearing! Perhaps that's a comment best left for the end of the review, or for the comments regarding the sound quality, or songwriting... well, as you can see, that comment could be applied in any of these areas! Greg is an awesome musician, songwriter, producer and engineer, and everything that I've heard him do has been great! In fact, his latest collaboration with Mark Little on The Roots is truly exceptional, and I hope that you'll take time out of your busy schedule to check the CD out!
Mark and Greg hooked up with several stellar musicians for this CD! Those credited on the album cover are Marc Golde (keys/bass), Jesse Warner (drums), and Drew Hicks (bass)! There isn't a breakdown of who does what on any individual track, but I must tell you that each one sounds superb! I love the mix of instruments involved, especially the Fender Rhodes piano work! I think it's also worth mentioning that Jesse Warner does a hell of a job on the drums for this record! I loved the funky, laid-back vibe that he created on each tune, and I think that his work alone makes the CD worth listening to! However, in addition, you get a whole lot of other great stuff!
I really am in love with this disc! You have to hear it!
Songwriting - 10 out of 10
Little background information is available about the songs on this record. I would have to imagine, though, that since Mark Little and Greg Waters share top billing on the CD, that they wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. Whatever the case, I think that these guys need to work together more often! They create a very "Summer-like" feeling on the disc, with a lot of songs about being lazy, hanging out, and enjoying life, love, and music! I particularly liked the song (The Roots) and (Sundress Down), and felt that they were the songs that made this record what it is! There are a lot of great songwriters in the Midwest, and Little and Waters have proven with this CD that they have what it takes to hang with the best and brightest of them!
Sound Quality/Professionalism - 10 out of 10
As I stated above, if a CD has the name Greg Waters or Rock Garden Studios on it, you can bet that the quality will be high! In this instance, Waters had assistance from Mark Little and Marc Golde in producing, engineering, mixing and mastering the disc. The results are outstanding! Take it from me: The Roots is definitely one of the best sounding CDs that you will ever have the opportunity to hear!
Packaging - 9 out of 10
The Roots is very colorfully packaged in a sleeve that contains the CD, a listing of songs, and a little bit of production info. Little else is included, though, and little is available online that talks much about the disc. I guess I would have preferred more background, and a lyric sheet with the CD. That will be my only complaint, though!
Sh*t Talking Man
Call Us Crazy
Non-Stop to Nowhere
Overall Rating - 10 out of 10
My comments in this section will be brief, and to the point: The Roots is an incredible CD, and you very definitely need to get a copy of it for yourself! After reading this review, take a moment to hear a few clips if you must, but then go directly to CDBaby and order a copy of the CD today! Mark Little and Greg Waters are great artists, and their collaboration on this project is awesome! Very rarely will you have the opportunity to hear music this good that isn't produced by a major label! Don't pass this one by!
-Mark Lush, Midwestbands.com, 10/25/05