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THE WAY WE ARE - reviews
|"Here's a songwriter's compilation album that transcends many
genres and often combines yet others. For instance, the opening song, 'It Ain't Rock', is
hailed as 'Dixieland with hints of rock and blues'. Well, at the first few bars, I was
thinking more like pop soul mixed with New Orleans jazz. I've never heard that kinda
thing before. I have now. And I like very much. Granted, I also like the theatre,
and to be honest, I think you'd have to put 'cabaret' first in the title to explain this
50 minute cd. The wonderfully enunciated songs, as in Bryan Harden's tracks, sure sing of
the great glories of the Theatre, combined with that clever lyrical gift that Moolten has
of writing. 'Anniversary Tune' should probably be on every couple's foyer. The vocal blues
of 'Night Love' would do well for all you bachelors out there. A clear alternative to
rock. And easy listening. Fred's drama has a theme for every occasion."
Ben Ohmart - @Nzone
"Fred Moolten is a songwriter with a taste for the finer styles of music. The songs on this blues/Dixieland/folk/cabaret album are simply irresistible. With a host of excellent singers taking the reins on the vocals, this is one album that you could never get bored with. There is a charm of innocence with the lyrics of this music. A simplicity that has long been lost in today's styles. The truth is, you will not find a better album with this style of music and with this diversity in style. The music is heartwarming and mesmerizing. Songs like 'It Ain't Rock' and 'I've Got Peace and Quiet' are just a couple of the great tunes worth checking out on this amazing album. This is a definite must have for any music fan of these genres."
Michael Allison - The Global Muse
"Cabaret is the clue to this CD. By listening, you are magically transported to the days of Cabaret. Most of the tunes on this CD are typical of a Broadway musical. I feel as though I am hearing tracks omitted from The Music Man. Fred Moolten writes the songs. Fred Moolten plays no instrument, however. He admits being a non-performer, cant sing, and barely scrapes by playing the piano. What he lacks in playing ability he makes up for 10 fold in his songwriting ability. Fred has assembled numerous No Name performers to showcase his tunes. All performances on his CD are top notch, professional all the way. The various singers are as accomplished as you can get. The Broadway musical aspects of the lyrics can be a bit disconcerting at first. After several listens, you get into the swing of it though and can pay closer attention to the music, which is marvelous. One song nearly brought me to tears. Talking To The Darkness, a song about teenage suicide. The combination of the right lyrics and the mood of the music is perfect. I get choked up just thinking about it. Anniversary Tune is a jazzy number, but in a musical vein. Smooth and cool. This would probably go over in Vegas quite well. Cat Lullaby is a soft and Wonderland type of tune. A sad song about the loss of a pet. After losing our pet of 14 years, this song is special to me. Combining all the elements of rock, pop, jazz, Dixieland, blues and many other genres is something that Fred Moolten has managed to compile with great success. Any Broadway or Las Vegas company would be richer having Fred Moolten on the payroll."
- Mp3 Artist Archives
"The cover describes The Way We Are as "a blues, folk, and cabaret album". Perhaps. There are elements of all three styles included here. However, when I think of folk or blues I tend to think in terms of single musicians or small ensembles. Cabaret might be the more accurate description of this music. For me, it falls even more neatly into the category of American music theatre.
These are songs that do not just tell
a story but tell it from the point of view of a specific character. These are songs that
might spring naturally out of a conversation, the way it happens on the Broadway stage or
a movie musical. All that's missing is a linking script and these songs could be the
libretto for a new musical. With more than thirty performers involved, this is a big,
theatrical production rich with dramatic possibilities. This is an intriguing exercise in
making music that is uniquely American in style and scope, and is well worth giving a
MOONLIT RIVER - reviews
"Candle Glow" is seductive and sexy. Max Leake performs on the piano, and the song has that old-time blues feel to it, taking you back to the days when you could sit and listen to a piano player croon and play, expressing the pain everyone feels at some point in their life. The lyrics are exceptional but don't override the bold music.
Nelson Harrison offers his expertise on the trombone on "Waiting for the Midnight Blues," another song of lost love, nights missed, and lonely moments that drag on. The trombone work alone makes this piece worth listening to.
While all the rest of the songs are sung by Lisa Hindmarsh, "Last Dance" features vocals by Rodan Weikert. I reluctantly admit that I don't care for his voice. It just isn't to my personal liking; it sounds a bit silly. Still, somehow the song works. The temperament reminds me of the old blues recordings -- not very smooth, but rich with character.
Fred Moolten definitely has a talent
for writing. I enjoyed this CD. In fact, I think it's got some of the best independently
recorded blues that I've heard in a while, and the artists that performed his music did
exceptional work. All in all, it's worthy of your time and money."
Hindmarsh kicks off the EP with "Someday Blues", a song for which her voice is well suited, a slow walking-pace blues ballad, well accompanied by Hawkins on guitar and Weikert on harmonica to give it that inimitable blues feel. It is followed by "Candle Glow", again featuring Hindmarsh on vocals; this is a real late-night smoocher, with some lovely piano work by Leake.
"Waiting For The Midnight Blues" is in similar vein to the opening number, minus harmonica. Harrison's trombone provides some soul-searching notes and gives the number a smoky-club feel. Hindmarsh's vocals, always worth listening to, get good and gritty on this emotive number.
Weikert takes over vocal lead on "Last Dance", a lighter song to which his voice is well suited, giving it an almost period lounge-bar atmosphere. After the blues on the previous tracks, this is a fluffier song with soft lyrics. delightfully delivered. The EP closes with Weikert on vocals for the title track, "Moonlit River". His voice is now more soulful, demonstrating a nice versatility, and only Hawkins accompanies on the guitar, giving the track a simple structure.
The lyrics, all written by Moolten, are original, poetic and touching; happy or sorrowful, they each have a certain poignancy which makes them memorable. This is a lovely CD, and tempts the listener to hear more from all the featured talents."
Jenny Ivor - Rambles
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