Sometimes where you hear music can really affect your opinion of an artist. Reed Kendall, front man for Up the Chain, opened up when I saw the Spring Standards. I really thought he played a solid set, and after the show I went to buy one of his CDs. I asked him which one he’d recommend, and he gave me both for the price of one. Now, as much as I like a bargain, that wasn’t the reason he’s really stuck out in my mind. He was just a very cool guy, and he was a lot of fun talking to. All biases aside though I really dig this album.
I have trouble categorizing these guys. They certainly have a base in folk, but a lot of the songs kind of grab at a bunch of different styles, and use a variety of instruments. The one thing that remains constant is Kendall’s solid songwriting. The album itself really fits its name also. A lot of the songs directly or indirectly deal with traveling and change. Kendall, who is not a stranger to the road, really pours a lot of sincerity into his lyrics and the songs in general.
Another thing that really gets me about this album is the guitar parts. They certainly aren’t anything AMAZING, but then again it doesn’t need to be to get the job done. Seeing him play live was very cool too. I would never consider myself anything more then a dabbler in guitar, but seeing him play was more then enough to impress me.
Needless to say when these guys put out their first full length I jumped on that, and thus the pick of the week was born. Unfortunately, the track that really sold me, "What We Were Before," is one I can't find on youtube. You can look it up if you're feeling ambitious, but until then enjoy another good track performed at one of my favorite local venues, the Milkboy.