Telecoaster generates an exciting “Vintage” sonic experience with songs that, while fresh and unique, still find a retro quality with songs actually recorded on an old reel to reel analog machine. “This record is so alive to me. It was largely a collaborative process with the producer at Marshal Sound, Amos McGregor,” says Edelman, long renown as the talented, cerebral front-person for Asheville roots-rock ensemble, Jangling Sparrows. “His input was integral. We kept experimenting and things kept changing and growing. I ended up trashing half the songs to write music that I felt was more about where this was going. I was actually writing half the album while we were recording the other half.”
In keeping with the retro theme, this is an album experience, meant to be listened to front to back. A journey, a roller coaster ride with guitars. Hence the title. Ironically perhaps, dealing with modern times and looking forward is a big theme throughout this body of work.
A little nod to the best parts of the past maybe just the ticket to navigate the future confidently.
Review of Telecoaster
When listening to this album, I am reminded of all the great music that I have been blessed to hear by Paul, each album is like the rings on a great redwood, tracking Paul’s growth as an artist, each dimension of his art and the depth of his talents. I enter into this review with an open mind and open ears, and I am not disappointed in any way.
The album opens with “Ready or Not“, with a sound reminiscent of 60’s era rock, infused with horns and a storyteller motif. This track is vibrant and has a big and bouncy feel that kicks. Followed by “Hey There Brother” has a soulful feel, the rhythms take you into the streets, hearing the beat it fills you with a desire to move, it comes through the speakers like a calling to believe in the impossible. “Contagious” however seems to move to the west, it has a Spanish horn momentum in it’s opening, then gets groovy, in a Haight and Asberry time capsule, it brings us to a sound that would be heard in the time of flower power, with a smack of the Doors in the lyric composition.
“I Still Love Rock and Roll” took me by surprise, Paul plays with the strings in a plucky move and it has an experimental sound, then drops a key right into the lock and opens the door to his tell tail sound, the pure rock and Blues movements that make his music powerful and make him an artist to admire. “Photograph” sounds like a love song, in love with a memory of better things, better times, maybe more. It also has a comforting Feel and reminds me of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Album Déjà vu.
“Dance Around the Fire” is just sheer magnificence, it’s got the step and trigger tone, the “Click, Click Boom” of pure Rock. “Ghost of 8th and Tasker” sounds like a title that Simon and Garfunkel would write, but it has more of a Bruce Springsteen Jersey Shore Anthemic signature, but its lyrical connect is pure Edelman.
“I Got Your Number” brings us to the 80’s with its time signatures of the urban rock / folk revival, a new storyteller style that connected with the anxiousness of the x-gen community, no real revolution to be a part of, yet still trying to find a way through the struggles left by the previous generation, “Americana B-Roll” is a softer tone and is perfectly placed in this album, bringing you back to your senses, a call to the lost, the ephemeral “breadcrumbs” back to lucid though and sanity.
“Flags You Don’t Fly” has a deep-seated Rock & Roll Battle Hymnal sound, sounds to me the story of a onetime rebel that lost his will to fight, but somewhere deep inside is a screaming ball of anger.
“The Feather and the Well“, well I just have to say Paul nailed it, it is so glamourous, and the vibrato in his playing, the echoes mirrored between the Guitar and the Hammond sounding Keys are mystical.
“Rain on the Rooftop”, the final track, but not the albums swan song, it takes all the messages in this album and brings it to a boil, slow and seething, it takes you to the next level. I would say this entire album is Paul Edelman’s journey the past 4 decades of music, but he has found a way to roll them all together, mixing and matching to make each song its own legacy of sound.
About Paul Edelman: Song Interpreter/Songwriter, Performer
Paul Edelman, multi-linguist in the languages of music, poet and performer, fronts Asheville, North Carolina-based group, Jangling Sparrows. Edelman can be found sitting comfortably in Roots Rock, Country, Folk, Soul or Storyteller. His lyrics have a way of making people feel understood and his emotional vocal delivery underscores that ability. Edgy and misty, his vocals often go from a holler to a whisper seamlessly and with crisp intention. He has been compared to John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and Jay Farrar for his ability not just to create a picture with words but a whole movie with the music.
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