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B.D. Gottfried: The Warden's Picnic

B.D. Gottfried hails from Ontario, Canada and has released his fifth album The Warden's Picnic. This is another artist that has escaped me as this is my first foray into the band's music.

In the band are Bill Gottfried (vocals, keyboards, percussion), Aaron Gottfried (vocals), George Chaggares (guitar), Jack Smith (bass) and Andrea Wingelaar (backing vocals on tracks 4 and 6).

This is an interesting CD and although not a progressive one per se it should generate some interest in progressive rock circles. The band plays a type of alternative pop/rock with progressive, folk and bluesy elements. The album is difficult to categorize as the band do not easily conform to any one label and have made a refreshing and decidedly un-commercial album of high quality.

This is a talented band and all the musicians do a good job. The guitar work of Chaggares is a highlight throughout. His playing is more on the atmospheric side going for subtle nuance rather than speedy riffs. Complimenting Chaggares's guitar are Bill's moody keyboard textures forming a sinuous web throughout these compositions. The vocals are another interesting facet of the band's sound but may not be for everyone as Bill has a slightly nasal delivery but it fits the style of music exceptionally well.

The title track is the album's opening song and a good one it is. Bluesy guitar lines coincide with the song's southern feel and Bill's folk-like vocals . Although not a commercial song by any means I think this would make a great single. After the midway point the album gets a little more progressive. "Taken It Back" has a nice progressive pop groove with an emphasis on Bill's introspective keyboards. "Sideways" features a haunting piano line and a fine vocal arrangement with some Floyd-like guitar added to the mix.

The album's most progressive moment is the instrumental "Plasma" featuring interesting keyboard sounds and quirky lead guitar. The album closes with the mood laden atmospheres of "Waiting For Crazy", another contemplative piece with fine guitar and keys.

The Warden's Picnic was another pleasant surprise showing there is some excellent music coming out of the great white north. Hopefully the band will get their due recognition.

Track Listing:
1. The Warden's Picnic
2. Future For Sale
3. New Fifty Two
4. Madeleine
5. Contrafiction
6. Taken It Back
7. Sideways
8. A Beautiful Life
9. Plasma
10. Waiting For Crazy

Added: September 29th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 3393
Language: english

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B.D. Gottfried: The Warden's Picnic
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-09-29 08:11:10
My Score:

Combining a folksy style with a bit of electric guitar B. D. Gottifried produces an inoffensive album of mostly forgettable tunes that is O. K. as you listen but will disappear from your memory just as soon as they finish.

They also try to touch upon almost every era to this kind of music. "Future For Sale" is bluesy rocker that takes you on a retro trip to the 70's maybe early 80's. The best moment on the disc is the instrumental "Plasma" which has a real progish feel to it and is the most modern sounding tune. "New Fifty Two" goes back to an almost 60's Acid Rock sound and after an opening that sounds like Led Zepplin's "No Quarter", "Madeleine" falls back into the electric tinged folk category. There is even a portion of the song "Taken It Back" that sounds like disco and an attempt to capture a Pink Floyd type mood with the song "Sidways".

This is one of those meandering disc that never really seems to have any cohesion to it. I guess its main downfall is the fact that most of the album is just boring. Simply put this is ear candy without much flavor.

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