From the Rub Wrongways site:
That rarest of delights: an album that sounds equally good quiet or loud, on headphones or in the car stereo, as a soundtrack for a listener seeking something extraordinary enough to hop right onto any jaded rockcrit's yearly best-of list or a disc so palpably comfy, its tunes immediately invite one to chirp along halfway through first listen.
It's a grand production. Marchese, his handpicked orchestra of the cream of the Valley's best musicians, and producer Henning Ohlenbusch are as succesful at presenting a string quartet (plus harpsichord) to convey the sublimely beautiful melody of "20-15 Periphery" as they are in capturing the pop spirit of "Familiar Old Sugar"s guitar-bass-drums-sax-handclaps instrumentation.
But this is first and foremost Brian Marchese's moment to shine and deliver. Known for his superior drumming skills (and they are on display here), Marchese makes a superb case for himself as an equally talented songwriter, capable of catchy melodies, striking lyrical turns of phrase and the ability to lovingly infuse his retro-rock sensibilities into a Gainsbourg-meets-Hazelwood stoner ballad ("Follow"), sanctified Steely sass ("Supposed Circus") and one insane carnival of rhythmic sound and fury that will stand your ear on its ear ("Mockingbird").
A note from Brian:
Sitting Next to Brian is the name under which I write and record. Usually a drummer for many varied bands and projects (Lo Fine, Aloha Steamtrain, Mark Mulcahy, Don Lennon, the Fawns, School for the Dead, The Gay Potatoes, the Figments, Mike Flood...), I decided to gather some of my own songs and compile them onto a record.
I live in Northampton, Massachusetts. Whereas the "sound" that comes out of that area often leans toward the folky, the rootsy, etc, my sound comes across a little more technicolor, listening to the birds sing, but not really wading into the scummy pond.
The band is ever changing. This album was recorded by Henning Ohlenbusch at Rub Wrongways in Northampton. The next one is on its way.
Brian Marchese- drums, vocals, rhythm guitar, alto sax .
Ken Maiuri-keyboards, bass guitar, harmonies
Henning Ohlenbusch- bass, keyboards, harmonies
Bruce Tull-pedal steel
Joe Boyle-lead guitar on Sleepy and Supposed Circus
Gideon Freudmann-cello on 20-15 Periphery
Lesa Bezo-vocals on Follow
Kevin O'Rourke-vocals on Familiar Old Sugar
Dave Trenholm- flute, tenor sax