Review: Bill Copeland Music News
Creamery Station offer splendid sophomore roots album Walk With Me
By Bill Copeland on August 11, 2020
Sounding like they grew up listening to The Band, Bob Dylan, and Emmylou Harris, Connecticut band Creamy Station offer original songs that come from a good place, have a great natural, rootsie sound, and are very accessible to most music fans. New sophomore album Walk With Me is loaded with tracks just teeming with these endearing qualities, and it is one of the those CDs that you just have to keep playing over and over and over again.
Opening cut “Pistol By My Side” freely borrows idioms from western film scores, jittery harmonica, a trotting grove, a bar hall piano line, and friendly harmony vocals. This one is just a dandy of juicy cowboy melodies and it feels like it could have been a party song at the old saloon.
A lilting harmonica melody leads “Jimszamar” along a merry path. Eventually, a lead guitar takes on the role of providing a wide, all encompassing melodic line. Mellow, flowing vocals follow the easeful path of the music and this one just rolls on like a big bus full of friendly folks traveling through a hilly land.
“I’d Be Pleased” is a mesh of roots music instrumentation. Easeful vocals over a wide, rangy pedal steel guitar makes this one a winner. It’s as large in spirit as the pedal steel line that ranges out and pulls back in everything within this tune. An out-on-the-range harmonica line, too, gives off a wide, rangy feel, a sense of largeness that this band creates. An old fashioned accordion melody comes in too, and that adds more good old days magic to this number.
A mid-tempo shuffle “Without The Bad” is stuffed with perky lead guitar, bubbling keys, and a chirpy vocal ambles along an amicable path. Injecting a brief drum solo and keyboard interlude shows that these cowboys can and will get a bit funky. There are another knobby notes around a lonesome harmonica line to show how far cowboys are willing to go with their music when they feel a need to boogie.
A bouncy tune titled “Fernwood” shuffles along in this wedge of perky country guitar, accordion, and shuffle groove call and response vocals make this a party sing along, and it’s hard to imagine the audience not getting pulled into it a Creamy Station live show.
“Heaven Looks Down” builds a wall of country, roots sound over a down tempo groove. Swaggering friendly vocals, large and majestic, like a cattle ranch owner barker instructions to cow pokes from atop a wooden fence, inform the listener there is a connection with the almighty going on. A high pitched lead guitar line whips out over all of the groove, keys, and everything beneath and it feels as free as a lasso This one just gets mightier as it goes along and before the listener knows it, he’s listening to heavy epic song.
One cannot help but get drawn into the pedal steel guitar lines that jump out at you on “Wake Again.” A Jack Daniels smooth lead vocal goes toe to toe with a feisty lead guitar line, each carving their own mark in this territory. This is like a western outlaw version of “Another One Bites The Dust.” It’s funky, with plenty of notes from roots instruments sliding in and out of the open spaces in the groove.
“Those Days” swaggers in with a bulbous, rootsie groove. Meanwhile, stringy lead guitar notes spike across the range. Once that platform is established, the lead vocal considerately rides along the purty soundscape, a voice that reaches out in tender warmth and encircles all of the special country-ish idioms around it. Much of the credit goes to bass player Alex Wu for keeping the walk way clear and smooth for the pretty melodic instruments to travel on and for a gritty harmonica to get feisty over
Extended instrumental jam “Killian’s Dream” offers several tasty nuggets from each instrument; piping organ notes, feisty lead guitar phrasing, sly fiddling, and a whole lot more. This must be the band’s live intro piece at their shows. It can set up high expectations that the rest of the songs meet. It also sets the vibe for next song,, “ One With Zero,” tune with similar tones in instrumentation. A plaintive lead vocal, competing with a rusty harmonica line, carries the energy that the rest of the players follow. If the earnestness in the singer’s timbre isn’t enough, the band completes it by rustling up some tender lead guitar lines and a soulful scatter of organ notes.
“Dan The Outlaw” is a fine character driven story song. Sweet, lilting harmonica notes draw one into the landscape before a chirpy vocal and an old west piano melody kick the horse to move this carriage faster A galloping pace keep things shuffling, giving a pedal steel something to skip to arrive at a melodic joy. A visualization is easy to come by with the imagery given here, and it all adds up to one fun, rollicking joy ride.
Close out track “Show You The Way” comes wafting in with a breezy fiddle line backed by a smooth low end. A lead vocal remains low key, only allowing its emotive content out one quiet, slow verse at a time. It has a nice Celtic feel in some areas. Just when one expects the piece to turn into an exiting jig, it widens instead into a whistling lead guitar driven mid-tempo rocker. A harmonica line washes through, and this all becomes a large, magnificent song with a lot of moving parts.
Creamery Station will definitely go ever further than they already have. A few opening gigs for national acts at major city venue might be all this band needs to be on Wal-Mart shelves across the country. Their wholesome sound, earnest vocals, purty country melodies, and perfect song craft will carry them far. Produced by the inestimable Vic Steffens along with Creamery Station keyboardist Jon Truelson at Horizon Music Group in West Haven, the CD rustles up a clear tone for every instrument at every moment. Potential news fans should be advised to have a lot of time to listen to this album as it invites further listens.