Everyone has their deep dark completely non-goth secrets. Late at night when nobody's looking, when the rest of the gothic commune is asleep and nobody can hear, we'll all slip in something that if our brethren heard it they would point and scream - therefore ruining our spooky and black-clad reputations. You know it, I know it, we all know it. As long as you don't get caught, you can still hang with the bats. Well, being a jaded cynic anyway, I figured I'd be the first to step to the forefront and exclaim, for no good reason, that, "Not all the music I listen to is goth/industrial or related!" So there! I feel better already.
One band that caught my eye recently hails from my home state of Jersey and is making waves in Manhattan. Fronted by previous classical musician, Tracy Kash as singer/songwriter, The Tracy Kash Band play a jazz/soft-rock style infusing their songs with comfortable vibes and wonderful arrangement. The instrumentation is well balanced and the rhythms are smooth, with just a pinch of morose blues-style lyrics. Featuring Art Hays on guitar, Ted Cruz on keyboards, Bob Roe on bass and Brian Delaney on drums, The Tracy Kash Band is an enjoyable entourage. I wanted to turn your eyes to them because their debut album is quite a triumph.
Supported by her studies that lead to both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in orchestral performance, Tracy put down her flute to find a love of songwriting and jazz arrangements. The learned endeavors clearly show in the songs found here on Some Strong Potion - surely there are more than a handful of bands that could use a little bit of school in putting their tracks together. Having the background she does allows her to arrange everything together in such a way that there's a smooth blend across the instrumental scope - nothing overbearing, everything melded together.
Opening with Fleeting, a bittersweet melody of one night encounters. The way you can meet someone who seems to be such a perfect counterpart to you, "Just like old friends when in reality it was just a few hours." Afterthought can bring forth a bitter reality. Picking up the pace a bit with a flowing rhythm and Tracy's off-the-cuff vocals, Where Is She? is another story - this time how one can find themselves at the top of the pile in one place, but just another dime in the dozen in another. Tracy's chorus singing in Where Is She? clearly shows her ability to carry a tune well and with aplomb.
Another track I enjoy is the depressing and truthful - for isn't the truth usually the most depressing anyway? - Wading In Waiting. Rhythms are subdued, the bass line minimal and perfected. Facing reality with, "I just think it's time that we moved on," upon the realization the song becomes more complicated with a stronger, yet still slow and low, rhythm section. With bright guitar licks and keyboard arrangements, The Price of Fame is a sarcastic piece poking fun at success. Wonderful lyrics like, "No, I won't forget you. Since you put me on top - tell me now, what did you say your name was?" Yet while enjoying the sarcasm, Tracy is looking for the fame she wants. Everybody wants to be known, don't they? It's like what the Counting Crows say (egads, another not-goth musical group), "When I look at the television I want to see me staring back at me." Otherwise you might as well be a mushroom or something.
Smooth, end-of-day, mellow out and settle down music. This is my after-stomping-around-a-club CD of choice. Relax, chill out. Enjoy the rhythms, witty lyrics, comfortable guitar and bass lines, keyboard and piano melodies. Hell, I might even go see them play sometime - that is, of course, if the venue lets in the freak in the makeup. Hey Tracy, keep your eye on the dark corners, luv.
Post: P.O. Box 3095, Jersey City, NJ, 07303-3095
Phone: (201) 333-1324