Good Sponge Releases "Sampler Volume II"

Good Sponge Records is pleased to officially announce the release of the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II, a compilation of 18 freshly-minted songs from 18 southeastern Connecticut-affiliated bands/artists.

There will be a CD release party Friday, March 29 at The Bulkeley House (111 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320, 860-444-7753) beginning at 7:00 pm, featuring many of the artists from the comp performing live. The CD release party will feature two showcases: an acoustic-leaning "dinner set" downstairs, followed by a more rocking "dessert set" upstairs. CDs and other merchandise will be available for purchase. Facebook Event Page

About the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II:

Following up on last year's Vol. I, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II offers a diverse sampling of roots rock/Americana/singer-songwriter/rock artists associated with the region. From the opening New Orleans-fueled blues of the Sue Menhart Band, to the warm country lilt of Hannah Fair, to the groovy, theremin-tinged space rock of the album's closer by Dave Rave, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II offers a consistently solid musical ride throughout. The individual tracks stand on their own, but are also meant to work together as a whole. The overall listening experience is not unlike coming across your favorite FM station on the dial: you may not know all the songs or artists, but it's all music you should enjoy listening to.

The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II features new or current tracks from:

Sue Menhart Band http://suemenhart.com/
The Rivergods http://www.therivergods.com/
Josi Davis http://www.sonicbids.com/josiwails
Chris MacKay & The Toneshifters http://www.toneshifters.com/
Hannah Fair http://www.reverbnation.com/hannahfair
Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Amalgamated Muck http://www.amalgamatedmuck.com/
Ken Atkins & Honkytonk Kind http://www.kenatkins.com/
Dogbite http://www.myspace.com/dogbitegrrr
Matt Gouette http://www.reverbnation.com/mattgouette
Lauren Agnelli https://sites.google.com/site/laurenagnelli/
Vincent Tuckwood http://www.vincet.net/
Doug Woolverton & Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Nancy Parent http://www.nancyparent.com/
Dirt Road Radio https://www.facebook.com/dirtroadradio
Black Marmot http://www.blackmarmotband.com/
Dave Rave http://www.dave-rave.com/

The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II is also available for digital download at http://goodsponge.bandcamp.com/.

For more information, and to download songs from the comp, please visit http://www.goodsponge.com/.

 

CD Review: Nancy Parent - Vision of Angels

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

Singer-songwriter Nancy Parent (also from The Rivergods) released her first solo record Vision of Angels in October 2012.  While scheduling conflicts made it so I couldn’t do a review then, she has a solo show which will be broadcast live from the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre this Friday night on radio 94.9 FM  - so now is as good a time as any. 

Produced by Hugh Birdsall (Reducers, Dogbite) Vision of Angels is chock full of neo-folk and mellow pop tunes that sparkle and showcase super lush instrumentation.  Along with Nancy’s guitar and pedal steel there is quite a bit of violin, piano, upright, electric bass and drums on the record.  If you’re honest with yourself though, it's Nancy’s angelic voice you’re really looking forward to when you go to listen to Vision of Angels.  The studio not only allows her voice come through with dazzling clarity but it also allows there to be many Nancy’s singing along with each other which turns into a very comforting and relaxing sound.  There is an airiness and tenderness to her voice, never forced, but you can still very easily be overtaken by it. Like being surrounded by mist while working through the woods. 

Nancy doesn’t stray too far from the Rivergods formula of folk and country infused pop on Vision of Angels.  She more or less takes it down a notch, mostly out of the “rock” genre, and makes the sound more personal and perhaps more moving.  There is no doubt that this was in incredibly introspective album for Nancy, as most solo outings are.  The soul searching she did to write these songs comes through in spades.  All the words she sings seem to have been meticulously chosen for flow and meaning.  She sings them all with the utmost conviction and confidence.  This confidence never diminishes the vulnerability that much of her lyrics represent but in a way makes it more believable.  Like overcoming a long time phobia or telling someone you’re in love with them, you must be firm and confident even though you’re really going out on a limb.  Nancy walks that limb with grace and poise.

There are some jumpier more driving moments on the record - the title track “Visions of Angels” and “Memo” come to mind right away.  With the use of electric guitar and steady drumming these songs serve to break up the quiet folk that makes up the bulk of Vision of Angels.  The quiet is where the magic lies however - “Ten Thousand Things” with its finger-picked guitar, subtle keys and slow bowing violin is brimming over with beauty and melody.  Nancy is allowed to simply float along that river and sing her story.  Times like these are when she’s at her best.

Vision of Angels has a beauty that cannot be overlooked.  There is no better way to sum it up.  It’s one of the most intimate and personal sounding records to come out of this area in years.