By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
By Derek Askey
"Abbey Road is my favorite Beatles record for just that reason. Other records of theirs have a higher count of great individual songs, I suppose, but to my ears, it is almost impossible to not listen to that record straight through. It feels wrong to hear it piecemeal." Yes, Abbey Road, recorded by four guys all wearing wedding bands — not exactly a complacent platter if it could accommodate "Octopus' Garden" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
So the new album and new members in the Victorian fold include Justin Entsminger (bass), Rick Heins (guitars) and Scott Hessel (drums). The former and occasionally still Gloritone drummer brought a side benefit besides his expert timekeeping to the album — he got Lisa Loeb to sing on the album.
Hessel says: "I have known her since auditioning to be her drummer [circa 19 . . . inaudible]. We remained in touch over the years, and I thought she would add something very special to 'The Only Road.' It's cool to finally say we played together on a song; I thought she added a kind of Wilco/Feist vibe to the record."
Loeb recorded her track in Burbank with producer Chris Testa. Other friends who doubled as guests include the aforementioned Rauhouse, The Format's, Sam Means, whom Wendt toured with, and Jamal Ruhe from the much-missed One, who mastered the record and flew in to play the CD-release party.
"He sang some amazing backing vocals for a few of the tracks that really set the songs off . . . most noticeably in 'Acetylene Torch Song,' where the cello also comes in. That just kills me every time — the cello and his backing vocal right there — that's my favorite part of the album."
The cello part was played by Murphy's sister-in-law, Stacey Piccinati. And the sweet backing vocals on "Maybe You're Right" were sung by Murphy's three daughters, Quinn (age 9), Eliot (7), Julia (5), and their friend Taylor Haan (8). So much for married music being "safe." "Acetylene" is hard to decipher lyrically (something about falling asleep on the telephone before the fire goes out) but it sure sounds doggone pretty and lonely at the same time. And "Maybe You're Right" probably is the best treatise on self-loathing for being wrong you'll ever hear with children's voices on it. And that includes anything on the Disney Radio playlist!
Time permitting, Source Victoria wants to promote the record with coastal long-weekend mini-tours but acknowledges it's hard to just jump in a van and go when they all have other commitments.
"But that doesn't mean music is not still as important as it was when we were younger," says Wendt assuredly.
"This dream isn't over — to borrow a line," muses Murphy. It's just different."