Thursday, July 1, 2010

Emmett and Mary - S/T

Emmett and Mary is a very large band from Johnstown, Pennsylvania that plays indie folk music. They have been working on their debut album, S/T, for quite some time and I have been listening to an advance copy for a while and thought I needed to review it.

The band is relatively new and is led by Brandon Locher and Christopher S. Bell along with members of dozens of other bands from their label, My Idea Of Fun. Just for fun, I'll show the list of people who performed on the album and what they did:

Brandon Locher (Emmett Karson): Story, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drums, Hammond B-3, Omnichord, Micro Korg Synthesizer, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Field-Recordings, Sequencing and Sampling, Digital Editing and Audio Manipulation
Christopher S. Bell (Linus Mansfield): Story, Vocals, Sequencing and Sampling
Rod Fisher (Lee Fisher): Vocals
Amanda Ross (Josephine March): Vocals
PK Harmon (Ken Lugar): Vocals
Laura McAllister (Mary Lugar): Vocals
Mike Miller (The Ghost of Henry Vaghn): Accordion, Vocals
Matt Miller (Zeke Morgan): Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Banjo, Screams
Dane Adelman (Peter Watts): Vocals, Timpani, Upright Bass
Cory Savit (Andrew Strayer): Vocals, Vibraphone, Suzuki Melodion M-36, Timpani, Upright Bass, and Banjo
Olivia Locher (Annette Karson): Vocals
Kathleen Boyle (Casey Whipkey): Vocals
Sean Jackson (Mitchell Graft): Vocals
Chris Kupchella (Greg Hood): Sitar, Electric Guitar, Ebow, Glockenspiel, Vocals
Casey Hawk (The Ghost of Joan Foster): Vocals
Ryan Brisini (Leonard Kenny): Gang Vocals
Renee Saylor (Leila Bennett): Vocals
Kate Davis (Paige Hughes): Clarinet, Vocals
Joe Messina (Jack Vargas):: Boss. Dr. Groove DR-202 Drum Machine.
John Livingston (Chas Weller): Piano
John Thorell (DJ Gordon): Cello and Viola
Dave DeStifano (Dalton Applebee): Congas and Bongos
Huckleberry Sawyer (Doyle Finely): Spaghetti Western Guitar, Drums, and Synthesizers
Eli Gantos (Kevin Mansfield): Congas
Bud Jackson (Lucas Mills): Congas and Bongos
Matt Wagner (Benji Tate): Trumpet
Annie Rummel (Leann Kenny): Flute
Ben Sackmar (Jim Fisher): Drums
Berry Bonds (Clay): Doo-Wop Vocals, Trumpet
Rachel Adams (Tara Mansfield): Glockenspiel
Cody Wallat (Charlie Nolan): Drums

I'm curious how long it took to record this album, because I am certain that all of those people didn't fit in Brandon Locher's bedroom at once.

As for the album itself, it is definitely not for everyone. It is a Lo-fi production, which means you will hear some static in the recording and sometimes won't be able to tell what the singers are saying. But that style of music is something I really enjoy.

In fact, S/T is a lot like the Bicycles album, Oh No, It's Love, in that its song writers' vision was completed without the help of any label or producer. There's a respect that is deserved when you complete something without anyone's help and that is exactly what is going on with this release. The originality of the album and love trump any complaints one could have about its lo-fi sound.

Tragically, Emmett and Mary may never be huge stars or receive any radio play, but they have still created an folk album as good as Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. You can listen to the whole album below on their before it becomes available in September or visit their website for more information.

Listen to Emmett and Mary's S/T on
Album information and website


Anonymous said...

This is pretty neat. I live in MA but was born and raised (spent 20 years) in Johnstown, PA.


TheIdeaHole said...

"Indie folk"?
Is that code for overly stylish twenty-somethings in the "hipster era" who either imitate or don't imitate the ACTUAL legends before them (in this case, what, Dylan, Baez???) and praise themselves for doing either?

Enlighten me.


The Lexingtons said...

It sounds like you hate them for not being actual legends.