Album Review by Bill Copeland


Creamery Station fly high, play big on Story To Tell album
By Bill Copeland on November 9, 2023

Creamery Station just recently dropped this festive and lively album Story To Tell. This adventurous album runs on an abundance of care and energy. Every well placed instrumental line and vocal phrase is one of many moving parts that reflect many influences inserted into a big flowing sound The Connecticut jam band keeps the party going strong by letting made shades of modern American music into their blend.

Opening cut “Crazy Night” puts an interval of trippy guitar notes from Jim Kader in the center of this up tempo jam piece. That keeps everything spinning around a catchy axle. It gives a sweet, racing harmonica line a pole to move its pretty melody around. Jon Truelson’s keyboards and a spicy rhythm section with percussionist Michael Ryan are all part of the speedy dance and this one grabs the listener right at the club entrance and pulls him onto the dance floor.

Title track “Story To Tell” benefits from a twisty, weepy harmonica. Flavoring this piece with a winsome, easygoing vibe, that instrument indicates a positive theme and an inviting, festive quality. With such a pleasant jaunt beneath him, a vocalist only needs to cruise the peaks and valleys of the main melody line. He doesn’t need to belt or emphasize, just follow the unobtrusive path of instrumentation. This song takes the listener somewhere special with its use of involving guitar phrase, plenty of rhythmic notes, and a smooth assertion of voice.

“Moth To A Flame” takes things slower. A country piano line and a rustic, honkytonk harmonica by Don DeSefano provide a home on the range feel. That piano sprinkles its sweet roots notes like a misty rain and the harmonica makes on the feel the songwriter’s forlorn emotions, having only one central focus in his life. The lead vocal here is plumb full of twangy timbre and chirpy pluck. One gets a sense of the rural parts of America with each of his assertive vocal lines. He reminds of The Band in both his delivery and in his feel for the song’s sensibility.

“Wishing Well” gets a lot of mileage from its funky groove. Drum fills move the feet with their well placed hits. A bass guitar motivates the hip to sway with its lilting motions. Over that motivating pull, the song is flavored with gracious swipes of edgy harmonica, sweeping organ chords, and a sweet vocal. The singer, with his soft timbre and laid back approach, drifts pleasantly between a shifting lead guitar phrase and a tasteful start-stop harmonica line. The way the singer cruises merrily over the bits and pieces pastiche creates a contrast that makes both levels of this song so appealing.

“Under The Maho Tree” moves to an uncoiling Alex Wu bass guitar line, keeping the groove in a breezy island motion, giving a platform for the lead singer to dance around the open spaces. He keeps his neo hippie groove footloose and fancy free. Mirroring that airy freedom is a lead guitar phrase that dances through the meters with a touch of edge and a bit of a bounce. Twitchy, the lead guitar hopscotch give a push so the other instruments and vocalists, when its their turn, to make their own lighted heart dance across the meters. Peppered with exotic percussion touches, this one has plentiful touches to make the rhythm larger than life and completely involving.

A country flavored harmonica line colors beautifully “In The Streets Of San Francisco,” a neo-hippie vibe song. Traveling along a shuffle groove and complete with a sweet Dylan Kader mandolin line and an feisty guitar thrown in for good measure, this one travels a polite jaunt. Amicable, generous, and inviting, the lead vocal makes one feel involved in what is sure to be an upbeat singalong in this band’s live shows.

“It ain’t Easy” moves to subtle faux island vibe. A lush lead vocal moves its thickness over brief, brittle notes from the upper register instruments, creating a perky underpinning for such a warm, full voice. A scratchy harmonica bursts into action and mirrors the same wash of voice as the singer. This study in contrasts engages the listener with its two sided in one song approach. It’s like a soft ice cream with plenty of mints, jimmies, and chocolate chips within.

“More Than It Seems” takes all of Creamery Station’s vocal and instrumental qualities and stuffs them all into one rolling burrito. Shoved into this work is a plenty of Harry Cooper drum fills, pushy lead guitar, pleasant bass guitar bumps, and a considerate vocal pace. This song has numerous nice touches all packed tightly in together and it all rolls as one. This feels like the kind of music you’d love to hear on a long highway ride, especially if you’re traveling with a large group of your favorite people.

A bluesy rocker, world wary lyrical piece, “Division Street” grooves hip and moves flip. Singing about the twists and turns of city reality, the lead vocal maintains an even flow that puts serious deadpan attention on a stark vision. Fleshing out the mean streets philosophy, the lead guitar stabs its edgy phrase into the soundscape and a gritty harmonica swaggers like a swordsman. The usually upbeat percussion instruments here create a rumbling sound that indicates the tumbling chaos of life. The perfectly set scene finds an appropriately sordid home among this bristling musical accompaniment.

Harmonica and organ work together well in this mellow, mid-tempo “Dreams.” Playing like a gentle reverie, the tuft of combined melody from the sweet harmonica, organ, and mandolin grab the ears without being grabby. It’s like being serenaded by a light jazz combo from another time period in American music. Eventually, the song feels more like a modern jam band, when the guitar kicks in with some switchy rhythm. Yet, the melodic feel from the beginning haunts this song and keeps it perfectly in the same mood even as the players add some edge.

Sounding like an old fashioned jug band, “Whiskey River” is all about the do it yourself distillery of yesteryear. Brittle mando notes, swaying harmonica, and a shuffle groove make the perfect platform for this quip laden tale of men and their home-made potions. A lean, sharp guitar line keeps it modern and old fashioned at once with its 1920s jazz patterns. Toe tapping fun singalong material to be enjoyed by all.

Close out track, the soulful, soul baring “When I’m Gone” is a roots song combined with slow boiler blues. As the lead vocal develops the emotional grist of the number, multiple acoustic instruments sprinkle their quality rustic flavor around the voice. Choir like backing vocals develop even more soulfulness, as does a simmering organ and a developing dynamic rhythm section. Combing roots with soul makes this a particularly juicy, full farewell for now from Creamery Station.

Boy, oh boy does Creamery Station fill in their jam band grooves and open spaces with a myriad of other musical genres. Making everything their own sound while maintaining the easy going flow, joyful spirit, and freedom of expression keeps everything on Story To Tell a flavorful fruit in one huge basket. There are a lot of moving parts in this album and this band manages them all with skillful hands. Creamery Station is Dylan Kader, Jim Kader, Harry Cooper, Jon Truelson, Don DeStefano, Alex Wu, Michael Ryan, and a gospel choir of Kevin Monroe and Devotion. Recorded and engineered by Vic Steffens at his Horizon Music Group studio in West Haven, Connecticut, every notes jumps out of the speakers with a nice, clear sound.

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Creamery Station

Creamery Station

Nationally touring soulful, bluesy, roots jam band.

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Creamery Station
Ay ay ayyy! CT bands take on VA together NEXT WEEKEND (12/9). Super proud to be keeping the party going once the homies in Goose finish up their show. 🎄💪 FREE AFTER PARTY! 👽🤘🐮RSVP Here:Goose Unofficial After Party w/ Creamery Station at Stuft🎨 High Stick Creative ... See MoreSee Less
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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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