Midland, Michigan singer-songwriter Dan Vaillancourt’s latest 14-song studio album released November 2013, entitled “When The Lights Come On…” is full of insights of who Dan is and has become.
Hard to pin down into one genre, these songs are what Dan calls funktified folk, pop, tongue-in-cheek blues rock and jazz. Humor shines through with his songs Brains, Brawn and The Four String Revue, The Gospel of Late Night TV warning of for-profit television evangelism, and Binary Code, about the rarity of human programmers to be found these days on broadcast radio.
His new father’s heart opens up for us with A Million Lullabies. His lyrics are of people from his former life of constant touring, friends, family, fears and joys. This is his first entirely self-recorded album and as his Bandcamp press states “Dan plays all of the instruments on the album, even the ones that he doesn't really know how to play” vocals, guitars (electric, classical, tenor, bass and acoustic), banjo, mandolin, harmonica, washboard, glockenspiel, hand claps, Theremin, foot stomps, chair squeaks and laughs, which were perfectly mastered by David Laney at Chanel Fuse Media in Memphis.
All of the songs were written during the February Album Writing Month (FAWM) of 2013 and many were recorded within moments of writing the songs. Dan says they are what happen “When the Lights Come On…”
I compare Dan’s work to Paul Simon, Todd Snider or a Midwest young version of Guy Clark. But truly, his music is one of a kind and is showcased in this latest effort in spades. In honor of the fact that this new album was written and recorded entirely during FAWM last year his price will be name your price (even zero dollars!) for the new album from now until the end of February.
Michigan born indie singer-songwriter Jeff Yantz’ new self-released sophomore “solo” effort is a full ten song cd named “That’s the All of It” with a big roundup of help from beaucoup “Barnhands” of fine local musicians far too many to mention here in a brief review.
The soft Cd release is officially February 21st at Governor’s Quarters in his hometown of Bay City. To describe these songs all penned by Yantz is a barnyard full in itself from Americana, Pop, Bluegrass, Punk and the fine new age Gospel of self-described “Folk & Roll” Rock.
His vocals are clear and Jeff plays Guitars, Banjo, Organ, Harmonica, Drums, Stomp Box and his beloved Ukulele. Humor abounds with his songs new and old of Homegrown, Catch a Ride, and my personal favorite, Leanin’ on the Shovel that seems like an anthem to our new economy and efforts to remain productive.
The song Pieces sweetly and surprisingly merges pop rock and bluegrass. His heart is on his sleeve with many of these songs like Crumble, Same Ol’ Road, Rather be Lonely and This is for You that may speak to many more than he imagined.
The song Wanna Be tells of many a working person’s double life. This listener thinks Yantz has juggled both worlds with finesse. His own press states “he has a penchant to create songs that are sad and funny at the same time” and I have to agree. Think I’ll keep it in my car to cheer myself up as I juggle my Same Ol’ Roads.
Cleanly Self-Recorded, Produced and Mixed at White Trash Studios and expertly Mastered by Andy Reed of Reed Recording Company in Bay City. Jeff Yantz and the Barnhands “That’s the All of It” to be found soon at these links: http://www.jeffyantzmusic.com/ or www.reverbnation.com/jeffyantz or check him out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeff-Yantz-Singer-Songwriter/146239148754094
The Review welcomes our newest contributor Trish Lewis to these pages. Trish hosts The Eclectic Chair on WUCX-FM Q90.1 FM every Monday from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.
16th November, 2023
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