All the tough words...
Press on "Starts at Dusk."
From MKE Lifestyle article, by Kathryn Schueler:
"An immediately addictive listen, instantly recognizable as a Wooldridge Brothers record, but with a pop sheen over their familiar Americana sound."
A review from Loring Wirbel, of the Colorado Springs Independent.
"The raucous side of roots is displayed in the newest studio effort from Milwaukee’s Wooldridge Brothers. Starts at Dusk (Anodyne) features riffs reminiscent of The Hold Steady, and Scott Wooldridge’s lyrics in tracks like “Zero Information” are minor-key masterpieces."
From Lee Zimmerman's "Indie Spotlight" column, Goldmine Magazine:
"One can think that they’ve heard every band that’s worthy of praise and then suddenly, unexpectedly, along comes an outfit so remarkable, it’s hard to believe they’ve been below the radar and out of sight. In this case, the group that that refers to is the Wooldridge Brothers, a band comprised of two siblings — Scott and Brian and sister in law Julie — along with two able compatriots, Scott Gorsuch and Jack Rice. Theirs is not an uncommon sound, but as expressed on their new disc, Starts At Dusk, it’s music so obviously infectious, so singularly spectacular that it simply rings with recognition almost immediately. Scott Wooldridge has a voice that’s ideal for pure pop, while the songs sound like a classic combination from which timeless melodies are made. Hints of Springsteen, the Eagles, the Hollies and other radio-ready references immediately come to mind, but the Wooldridge Brothers can claim each of these efforts as their own. This is an ageless endeavor made to please, and for anyone that appreciates ready hooks and carousing choruses, Starts At Dusk is a great place to begin."
A write-up on the album from Commonstate's Nick Pipitone, who did some photography at our session in Milwaukee:
"Listening to the Wooldridge Brothers you are reminded of how ridiculously simple, yet melodically sophisticated music can be. There are open G chords, unabashedly open G chords, played on guitars, for real. Some things just don’t need reinvention. On “Starts at Dusk” it’s all there, the melodies, the beauty in simplicity, the pop motifs and the occasional R&B croon, a product of years of playing, getting it right."
Another nice review from Empire of the Senseless on the album release show! About the album, Brian Miller writes:
"They took their time and pushed the production levels up, as well as bringing Brian Wooldridge’s guitar solos well forward in the mix, providing an energy and attack that had not been there before. In addition, their influences -Elvis Costello, Squeeze, the Kinks- are laid more bare than usual. The result is, frankly, quite startling. "
...And back from when we released the CD to the Milwaukee market, there was this write-up in the Shepherd Express (which gives some nice detail on the making of the album):
"...Starts At Dusk is a considerably peppier, livelier record than the woodsy Americana of the group’s previous work, a bright pop record in the tradition of Big Star’s Third and R.E.M.’s late-’80s LPs..."
Press on "Scott Wooldridge."
A decent, tho mixed review from Tony Bennett of the Duluth News Tribune (no, not that one. No, not the other one, either). I wish he'd loved all the tracks but I appreciate writers who clearly take some time with an album when reviewing it. Not all seem to, but TB had some good observations overall, making me think he didn't just skip through it.
"...a collection of mostly uptempo folk and pop that recalls herky-jerky solo artists like Elvis Costello and rough-and-tumble heartland bands like the BoDeans."
Oh hey, Empire of the Senseless reviewed the Big Star's Third show a while back. Or just talked about it. Very cool either way.
More on the Walker Diversion Tour in Milwaukee's Shepherd Express!
Bobby Tanzilo of OnMilwaukee.com previews the WBs' upcoming Cheese Tour, starting Thursday in Milwaukee.
The Local Current blog saves the best for last again, posting the "Winter's Walk" video as part of their Friday Five. (Psssst, guys, two D's!!!)
BTW, Empire of the Senseless quite kindly mentioned my show at Shank a while back...
Chris Riemenschneider (finally, someone with more vowels in their last name than mine!) gave a plug to the Minneapolis CD Release Show and described the album as: "a folky set with philosophical anthems, sweet love songs, and spirited steel guitar work." Star Tribune, 5-1-15
City Pages' Top 10 videos of the week feature mentions the "rustic charms" of my latest video. (4-30-15)
"The self-titled release is a hark to more raw, more vulnerable times in pop music, setting in that timeless American Venn diagram center of folk, country and rock and roll."
Derek Lynch, Rift Magazine, 4-22-15
"There are no frills here, just clear, compelling, heartfelt roots songs with an alt-country bent."
Andrea Swensson, The Local Current Blog's Friday Five, 4-17-15.
"For those who have followed his career, this is the album he has long had in him."
The Milwaukee Shepherd Express previewed the Milwaukee show in its 2-26-15 issue.
"The songs recall everything from political grief to fizzled relationships. Though the album is complex and probing, it still has its fun."
Urban Milwaukee Dial reviews the album, 2-24-2015.
The Kokomo Tribune does a feature on my upcoming return to my hometown. (2-20-2015)
"An estimable collection of roots-rock goodness."
Jon Gilbertson, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1-26-2015)
OnMilwaukee.com asked me seven questions. (1-2-2015)
"I received a package in the mail from co-founder of Milwaukee’s seminal power pop band Wooldridge Brothers Scott Wooldridge. Wooldridge sent me an advance copy of his upcoming self-titled CD. Although the music now is mainly acoustic-based, song after song is a polished pop gem. Wooldridge’s voice is in fine form but it’s the songs themselves that shine brightly. In “Millennial” Wooldridge sings, “She’s got the walk and the talk of youth, she suspends disbelief and dispenses the truth. She blooms in Spring just like a perennial but she’s not a flower child, she’s the millennial.” This could easily have been an early vintage Elvis Costello song. “Something To Say” is a sly wink nod to the tough life of a singer-songwriter facing less than overly enthusiastic crowds. And finally I find myself wondering if perhaps Wooldridge wrote songs for Faces era Rod Stewart (maybe Gasoline Alley) in another life with the song “Had Enough Trouble”. Over a pedal and lap steel guitar and mandolin wind backdrop he sings, “Hard times hit, good times roll, nothing lasts but your soul. Had enough putting up with all my tears.” When the organ comes in, I swear I heard Ian McLagan for a second. Start to finish, Scott Wooldridge’s new CD is one for the ages."
Paddy Fineran, Kenosha News, 1-2-15, Music Matters column. (subscription required)