Craig Bakay | Jun 13, 2018
After The News’ new CD, Always on the Move, kind of defies definition. It’s kind of spacey overall, but there’re definitely a hint of southwest U.S. country to it, with Mike Verner’s trumpet accents trending towards mariachi at times.
Sort of Pink Floyd meets The Flying Burrito Brothers . . . prog-country-rock.
“You can’t avoid the country influence in this area,” said bass player Lee Casement. “Especially when you live three doors down from (pedal steel wizard) Claire Abrams. (Abrams is on the CD too.)
“But I’ve been listening to a lot of folk music lately.”
Most of the music and lyrics comes from the mind of Casement and guitar player Shaun Wiema, with contributions from vocalist/acoustic guitarist Jamie Young drummer Tim Forbes and Verner. But on this offering, they’ve drawn from a lot of area talent whose names many will recognize including the aforementioned Abrams, Jonas Bonnetta, Lisa Menard and Jon McClurg.
They also had help on A Statement of Intimacy from another area rising star — country-rocker Abby Stewart, whom Casement and Wiema have been backing up lately.
A Statement of Intimacy is the stand-out track on an album of pretty decent material.
“Shaun and I have been playing a lot with Abby lately,” Casement said. “She wrote the lyrics after we told her to come up with something that would be sung by a 40-year-old guy (Young).
“I love the harmony parts she does on this.”
Casement said a lot of people know Stewart for her voice “but what they don’t know is how good she is at the rest of the music stuff — songwriting, arranging and those areas.”
About the only flaw in the album is that the instrumental track, Winning, should have been at the end rather than the beginning.
Casement said the album is on all the streaming services and the band’s website afterthenews.bandcamp.com. There’s a video of the title track on YouTube, Always on the Move, by Jay Middaugh, which was an official of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival 2018. A limited number of CDs are available from the band at shows.
After The News is scheduled to perform at the Parham Fair on Aug. 18.