Good New Music Review


Original review:

Walk With Me

To get to the heart of the story behind New England-based rising roots-jam band Creamery Station, this publication went straight to the source.

First up, the origin of the multigenerational group’s name.

“I was actually raised on a small farm in Bethany, Conn., that was originally called the Creamline Dairy,” mandolinist/singer Dylan Kader told Good New Music by email. “It was no longer operational when my family bought it, but we always hung out in a building on the farm called the Creamery Building when I was growing up, and that is where we would hang out, have parties, get weird and jam music. My father (Jim Kader) is the guitar player in the band, and he also lived there for over 20 years.

“So the name is a bit of a nod to where we came from, while also recognizing it as one of the many destinations you stop at on the train tracks of your life’s journey. And with this in mind, we are hoping to leave all of those passing through with a positive experience and a lesson to help further themselves through community, story, song, and dance!”

Creamery Station started out small and gradually grew to a septet (mandolin, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, bass, drums and percussion).

“And then last March … (violinist, steel guitarist and banjo player) Bobby (Pickett) joined the band full time,” Kader explained. “He sat in a bit in the past, and was even a member at one point when we first started gigging, but he was first in another band that played out a lot — so when we started playing out numerous nights a week, he couldn’t make enough of the dates work and had to take a step back to just do sit-ins every now and then when our schedules aligned.”

Pickett’s addition really fleshes out the sound, especially his steel guitar, which adds elements of country rock and Southern rock.

“It’s a modified lap steel with hand-actuated pedals,” Pickett told GNM by email. “This is made possible with the Duesenberg Multibender bridge,” a device that enables creation of realistic pedal-steel tones.

Keyboardist and de facto audiovisual guy Jon Truelson provides not only rock and blues organ, but also occasional barrelhouse piano and even electric piano and accordion sounds.

“I play a Nord Stage 2 keyboard,” Truelson said when GNM asked him if the accordion was real or simulated. “The accordion is accomplished by way of wavetable synthesis using meticulously recorded samples of an actual accordion played in real time from the keyboard.”

Harmonicat Don DeStefano uses an arsenal of about 20 harps to cover all of the instrument’s subgenres, spanning country to blues and traditional to modern.

“The harps I use are Seydel 1847 series, some in custom tunings and keys,” DeStefano said. “I’ve been an endorser of and involved with Seydel harmonicas in Germany for over 10 years.”

GNM asked DeStefano how he determines where to insert his playing in any given Creamery Station song.

“What I do, and basically the whole band does also,” he explained, “is once one of the writers introduces a bare-bones version of a new song to the band, I learn … the chords, rhythm, melody, etc. … along with working on fills and countermelodies to play against. We kind of all just throw it together in a blender and start weeding out … anything that clashes with another instrument or vocal, (and) try different approaches until we come upon an … arrangement that sounds good to all of us. It’s … a rather long process, and still further refined out on the road and stage.”

Rounding out the group are Alex Wu on bass, Harry Cooper on drums and Michael Ryan on percussion.

“Walk With Me” is Creamery Station’s first studio album proper — there have been EPs and demo collections, but this is their true debut.

“We are hungry and so excited to show people what we have been working on,” the younger Kader enthused. “Before this album, all we had online were some older live recordings and that 2017 demo CD we did at our keyboardist’s house. … Not that I don’t like that one, but we kept adding songs to it as we wrote them just to get something on a disc to hand out and get our music out there. Most of the songs didn’t get to take on a life of their own yet before they were recorded, and then they later evolved in live settings.”

“Pistol by My Side” and “Dan the Outlaw” are sure to win favor from Grateful Dead and Kingfish fans who have a soft spot for those groups’ covers of Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” and “Big Iron,” respectively.

But no jam band can be tied down to just one genre, so there’s also the freewheeling “Fernwood,” inspired by a Big Sur road trip. The song perfectly conveys the feeling of rolling down the California coast and camping on the beach, with its call-and-response vocal sections really emphasizing camaraderie.

Furthering the group’s eclectic approach is “Wake Again.” Kicked off by an arresting twin guitar-harmonica riff, the song settles into a shuffle reminiscent of Little Feat meets the Allman Brothers Band circa 1973. Group members are all afforded short solos, before Truelson takes it out with a subtle nod to ABB pianist Chuck Leavell.

The centerpiece is lone instrumental “Killian’s Dream,” written by Ryan.

“Killian was a dog of mine back in the ’90s — black Lab/Walker hound mix,” Ryan shared. “Best dog ever. I was touring back then, and he went everywhere with me. One day I saw him running in his sleep, and he was ‘excited.’ I started thinking, ‘Wow, must be a great dream. What is he dreaming about?’

“I came up with my own story in three parts of what it was he was dreaming about. Since he was a frisbee dog, part of the story is him playing. Then he meets a girl. Then they do what lovers do — LOL. There is a hidden message in the syncopation, which is 1-6-1-5-2-0. It was meant to be a code to crack us musicians up: He lived 16 years, and I still miss him today.”

Credit for the album’s immaculately recorded sound goes to Vic Steffens of Horizon Music Group in West Haven, Conn. Steffens is a musician turned engineer and producer (Rory Block, Lita Ford, Matt “Guitar” Murphy), and offered GNM some feedback on the method to his madness.

“The album was initially recorded live in the studio to capture the band’s live vibe,” he said. “But all the vocals were replaced and many, but not all, of the solos. When I’m doing a jam band, I try to make it sound like a great live gig.”

When pressed for any special techniques he might have used to get a certain sound, he replied, “Nah, I’m super-old-school: right mics and presence in a great room; little this and that; season to taste. Jon Truelson was a great help managing the data and providing ears from the band perspective. He deserves mention. And … he let me do my thing without any ‘this used to be my job.’ I know that’s not easy.”

1. Pistol By My Side
2. Jimszamar
3. I’d Be Pleased
4. Without The Bad
5. Fernwood
6. Heaven Looks Down
7. Wake Again
8. Those Days
9. Killian’s Dream
10. One With Zero
11. Dan The Outlaw
12. Show You The Way

Total time: 65:46

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Creamery Station

Creamery Station

Nationally touring soulful, bluesy, roots jam band.

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  • Another song from October 14 at the I81 Northbound Virginia welcome center.

  • Ran into four of the guys on October 14th at the I81 North Virginia Welcome Center just inside the Virginia state line coming from Tennessee. The welcome center / rest area has an area setup with guitars for travelers to stop and play a while and that’s where I had the pleasure of meeting them and listening for a while. Nice break from driving. Oh and thanks guys for the CD! Love it!!

  • Tonight we went into Horizon Music Group Studios to talk to the man himself, Vic Steffens, and get the process started. We will be taking it slow on shows for the next few months as we put together a full blown studio CD this winter and we couldn’t be happier to be doing it with Vic! We will still have a few shows here and there, so don’t miss out on the cream train when it comes rollin’ into your town: 11/8 - Bishop's Lounge in NoHo, MA (10pm start) 11/15 - The Eleven in Naugatuck, CT (9:30pm start) 11/17 - Beau's Bar in Greenlawn, NY (EARLY SUNDAY SHOW: 4-8pm) 11/27 - Worcester Palladium for Wormtown Thanksgiving in Woostah, MA supporting our brother Zach Deputy! (8pm Creamery opening set) 11/30 - The State House in New Haven, CT w/ John Spignesi Band and Friends Of A Feather (Music starts at 8pm) 12/6 - Arch Street Tavern in Hartford, CT w/ Joon (Music starts at 10pm) 12/20 - Harlow's Pub in Peterborough, NH (9:30 start) See y’all out there on the road! And keep an eye out for our new CD. We plan to release a few songs along the way to let you hear some of the magic that is unfolding! ???

  • That stage one live lp is fire! Good to see you guys as always.

  • Love ya Vinnie! Remembering you (and all of our fallen brothers and sisters) today as we hit the road heading south. Don’t forget to look out for one another y’all! ❤

  • Dayum, that was a weekend for the record books!!! We needed a few days of recovery before posting this. Friday night saw Creamery Station roll into Hebron, CT for an appearance at the "sold out" Just Joshin' Music Festival ...whatta fun and creamulicious good time as hundreds joined us and many other talented bands for one helluva raging hoot and good time...this has got be one of the most fun Fall music festivals in Connecticut, and the most comfy digs you can ask for in a music fest; rain, early snow, chilly temps; no problemo, the stage and some of the rooms are indoors at the super nice, yet rustic Camp Hemlocks facility...we love throwing it down here!!! A very special shout out to festival organizer, Andy Mooney , for putting together one of the best parties in the state, and while we're handing out kudos, howz about Cody Urban (guitar)and Isaac Young (sax) for sitting in with us and helping us pack the dance floor for a rip snorting cover of the Billy Preston classic, “Will It Go 'Round In Circles"...some blazing playing by Cody and Isaac on that tune that had the entire Just Joshin' crowd shakin' booty!!!!!!!!!!!! Late night shenagins followed with a variety of late night acoustic jams... All in all, yet another off the charts Just Joshin' Festival for the record books...we look forward to returning to Camp Hemlocks hopefully again in 2020... Stay tuned!!! Saturday afternoon, the Cream bus rolled into "the Valley" for an appearance at the Smoke In The Valley Festival at BAD SONS Beer Co. in Derby, CT!!! A mind blowing variety of micro brews from around the state, along with yummy barbeque and food trucks, and gorgeous Fall weather drew a big crowd to "the Valley" for a fun Saturday afternoon shindig! Following a kick ass opening set by roots rockers, Fingersleeve, Creamery Station took the stage, performing for a crowd of over a thousand beer swilling, but good natured folks, what an appreciative audience... Dayum, whatta off the hook gig... So great to see many of our Station Nation citizens in attendance, along with so many new friends and fans we met that day... Yup, that was a mighty fun show!!!!!!!!!! Great to see live music return to the Smoke In The Valley Festival again, and we hope this may become a regular, annual event for us! If that wasn't enough, a stripped down, (almost) acoustic version of Creamery Station, performing under the moniker of, "Creamery Kid And Friends", hit the stage Sunday afternoon at the Bethany Harvest Festival in Bethany, CT... We performed a set of bluegrassy acoustic versions of some of our Creamery Station songs and rootsy covers!!! Unfortunately rain moved in about 15 minutes into our set, but we enjoyed playing for several dozen hard core fans who danced on in the rain... Turned out to be a fun gig! We would like to thank those of you who soldiered on with us in the rain, we're very appreciative of your fortitude! The large, appreciative, and enthusiastic crowds we performed for this past weekend just shows us how incredibly fortunate we are to have so many devoted and loving fans...we can't thank you all enough!!!!!! We're just so appreciative of your support...we love our friends, fans, and fam...thank you to our Station Nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ???

  • TODAY we head to this year’s Smoke In The Valley event at BAD SONS Beer Co. in Derby, CT. Fingersleeve just finished sound check and are about to kick off the event with some groovy tunes and then Creamery Station takes over from 2:30-4:15pm to close out the event. Get on down here!!

  • TONIGHT! We begin our double header weekend. ***Note: THESE WILL BE OUR ONLY SCHEDULED CONNECTICUT SHOWS OF OCTOBER!! *** Tonight (Friday 10/4): We play from 10-11pm at this year’s Just Joshin' Music Festival in Hebron, CT alongside a huuuuge list of our good friends bands. Like, fuck yeah. Tomorrow (Saturday 10/5): We head to BAD SONS Beer Co. in Derby, CT to play at this year’s Smoke In The Valley event alongside Fingersleeve and a long list of incredible beers on tap for the day!! Fingersleeve 12:30-2pm and Creamery Station 2:30-4:15pm See y’all out there!! ❤ ???

  • Happy Tuesday! Fortunately, I still have one of these swell Flintstonian devices in my office...

  • TOMORROW NIGHT! We head to the legendary Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, NY to play a show with our good friends in Gratefully Yours. We hit at 8pm sharp followed by two sets of the dead, so come early and stay late for a full night of music! ❤ Art by Kenny Schneidman

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