Press

Interview with Peter Crowley for The Adirondack Daily Enterprise : July 2013

Review of “This Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel” by Upstate Live

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“The Blind Owl Band. The four piece outfit is new to the scene, but not new to eclectic sounds, traditional instrumentation and influences of some more obscure bands in the business. Geographically in the music world, location can often define a band. Hailing from Saranac Lake, these bearded boys have characterized their sound as if they stood on top of their mountain reaching out their beat up instruments grabbing various concepts of music, holding it captive ultimately for a presentation unique to the scene. On stage, they knocked the nit and grit right out of their strings. Added vocal harmonies invite us to the darker realm, where we were lead through a journey of traditional roots, dirty jams and down right scary turns along the way. Be brave and bold, these North Country boys can lighten it up a bit with Irish pub tunes as well. Surely, those meandering out on the street missed two great acts. The energy inside was so alive you could reach out and hold on. As was the rest” – Tom Miller UpState LIVE

“If Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters kidnapped the Kingston Trio’s kids and released them upon the world twenty years later you would have The Blind Owl Band!” – Popa Tunes

“‘Rowdy String Music’ think M&S without the pretences or maybe OCMS not trying too hard, think of the soundtrack for a Tarantino / Rodriguez re-make of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, think The Blind Owl Band.” – Beat-Surrender

“Geographically in the music world, location can often define a band.  Hailing from Saranac Lake, these bearded boys have characterized their sound as if they stood on top of their mountain reaching out their beat up instruments grabbing various concepts of music, holding it captive ultimately for a presentation unique to the scene.  On stage, they knocked the nit and grit right out of their strings.  Added vocal harmonies invite us to the darker realm, where we were lead through a journey of traditional roots, dirty jams and down right scary turns along the way.  Be brave and bold, these North Country boys can lighten it up a bit with Irish pub tunes as well.” – Upstate Live

“After a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Blind Owl Band have released their new album,This Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel. Featuring the same hyperkinetic strain of traditional American music that marked their 2012 album, Rabble Rousing The Blind Owl Band make one hell of a joyful noise.” – Bucket Full of Nails

“Between their first album and their submission to Couch by Couchwest, the Blind Owl Band was beginning to make a name for themselves as a rowdy, footloose bunch. Imagine my surprise when their sophomore album opened with a somber tune called “Sailor’s Song.” It sets the tone for the rest of the album — hard-driving and determined. That’s not to say that the Owls have lost their sense of fun. There are plenty of boot-stompers on here. To the contrary, the Blind Owl Band is showing off their newfound maturity. But unlike other bands who create morose second albums to show off their Depth, the Blind Owl Band is simply devoting their manic energy in another direction. They still pick like it’s their job, and they still sound like they’ve just arrived from the depths of Appalachia.” – Adobe and Teardrops

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‘This Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel’ Review

By Brian Joy of CIDER Mag – September 2013 Issue

            If you’ve followed Cider Mag, then you know how much of a fan I am personally of The Blind Owl Band. In fact, if I was asked to declare my Top 5 bands I’ve had the pleasure of covering, there is no doubt that B-O-B makes the list. The New York based Blind Owl Band took the Vermont bluegrass scene by storm last year, creating buzz at every stop they made, and one member of the band loved the area so much, he set up residence. The debut CD, ‘Rabble Rousing’, was released in January of 2012 and spent several weeks as the ‘morning CD’ at Cider Mag Headquarters.

            After months of touring, the fairly new quartet decided that their experience playing together over the year had developed and polished their sound to a whole new level. It was time to make a new CD, ‘This Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel’ was born.  If I had one “issue” with their debut release of ‘Rabble Rousing,’ it was several of the tracks seemed to follow a repetitive melody line. Not to say there wasn’t creativity there! I think it was a simple case of a brand new band in the studio, discovering it’s own sound and the best ways to reach the quality they were looking for. The group has broken through those barriers, and has truly matured musically far beyond what anyone could have predicted.

            The album sleeve is an intelligently designed, triple fold out with insanely staged photo ops of the band, friends, and family, but let’s get down to the music.  Track 1, ‘Sailor Song’, dismissed the ‘will it be the same sound?’ vibe within a note or two. True to bluegrass roots, with a touch of 12-bar blues, Blind Owl makes a statement with it’s first song selection. This is NOT the Blind Owl you expected. You can tell they have been paying attention, finding ways to showcase their strengths. Favorite track? Hands down, ‘Rain On’. This baby is in my top 10 listened to on the Ipod for the past month.  Lead vocalist and banjo player, James Ford’s incredibly unique vocals sit in this band like the most perfect cat nap in a broken in lazy boy recliner. You can’t help but sink into it. The bass lines are headlining when necessary, and a perfect reminder of what this band is about the rest of the time. A driving bluegrass sound with a gritty edge and fun twists and turns. Just take a listen to Track 7, ‘Jazzy McGee’, you’ll get the point. Home run boys!!