CD REVIEW: Bill Bachmann - Folk n’ Roller
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/20/2011 - 06:55 PM EDT
Artist: Bill Bachmann
Album: Folk n’ Roller
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/jazz
Sounds Like: Lyle Lovitt, Bare Naked Ladies, Jimmy Buffett
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Kill that Other Beer, B-A-C-H-M-A-N-N, Folk n Roll
Weakness: Loew production/recording quality, Post Production assignments, (Mixing)
New York’s own Bill Bachmann releases his Sophomore release “Folk n' Roller” in 2011. Band members include - well Bill Bachmann himself.
The CD kicks things off with the title track an upbeat intro piece that serves up classic Americana vibe that delivers slamming acoustic guitar chops, driving rhythm, & hooky chorus from Bachmann. Track 2 “This New Hip Song” shifts gears with its smooth flowing rhythm, impressive solo guitar accents, & impressive vocal melody from Bachmann. Track 2 is a funny & clever musical parody of sorts of “Fever.” Track 3 shifts gears back down a bit further with “B-A-C-H-M-A-N a bluegrass driven melody with clever vocals & lyrical content from Bachmann that peaks & valleys its way through emotional fruition. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts like Lyle Lovitt, The Barenaked Ladies & Jimmy Buffett. The music itself is an amazing blend of modern acoustic folk, with Americana roots with an unmistakable acoustic guitar driven vibe. I get the impression Bachmann is having a lot of fun just letting it all hang out musically with these songs. He’s definitely one of those guys that’s a whole lot of fun to listen to. The musicianship from Bachmann is equally as impressive. The acoustic guitar solo accents are effective well placed. You will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere, from impressive solo guitar licks, amazing harmonies, piano, & mandolin. But the most impressive thing about Folk & Roller is the feel good groove & musical personality from Bill Bachmann. The CD & Music is very likable & carefree – just like the artist. From heartfelt “Your Old Man” & Too Late”& The Avedon Ball” to swinging “Those are the Days”, “Stuck Here Instead With You” to slamming “ D.C Blues” to rocking “Kill That Other Beer” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Savin’ The Things I Love” the perfect finale statement.
Drums & bass (rhythm section) sounds very thin lacking low end punch & high end clarity. This leads to a bigger issue. The production quality isn’t what I would call world class. It's generally never a good idea to hire yourself as the mixing engineer. It’s safe to say Bachmann is too close to the project to give his music all the proper checks & balances a pro-caliber mixer would. The more professionals you have assigned to your production the more perspective you can out of it. As a producer I highly recommend having each phase of the production process (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) handled by a separate professional or engineer. At the end of the day it can be more strokes on the canvass & you won't regret what having 3 or 4 different sets of ears will do for your production. It's safe to say Track 2 is a bit over the top.
From start to finish “Folk n Roller” by Bill Bachmann is an impressive catalog of music. The music is consistent, uplifting, fun & extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing & playing abilities of Bill Bachmann is rock solid. What's even more impressive is how Bill Bachmann played all these instruments himself with no outside assistance. The lyrics are catchy lyrics, & the melodies are well crafted & hooky. Last but not least the songwriting & vocal presence from front man Bill Bachmann is world-class. He’s infectious - & this CD will suck you in like a drug.
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