Crazy Mary began in 1998, founded by guitarist and songwriter Charles Kibel, a veteran of the Lower East Side rock scene, and drummer Nick Raisz. With seven studio albums to their credit (and two remix albums), the band has enjoyed extensive college radio play, favorable reviews in the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, the Village Voice, and by NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams. In addition, they’ve played several festivals, including CMJ, the Howl Festival, the Nemo, Midpoint and others.
Produced by Kibel, keyboardist Parker Reilly and long-time engineer Michael Caiati, “Dreaming In Brilliant Color” (Humsting Records 2012), spans the gamut from full out rock to contemplative. With the luxury of having played together with the same line-up for five years, Crazy Mary has tightened and honed their current sound. Legendary photographer Marcia Resnick captured the band for the cover photo.
The genesis of “Dreaming In Brilliant Color” began in April of 2011 when Kibel purchased a 1963 Gretch 6120 and in a fit of inspiration, composed seven of the songs featured on the album in a day and a half, and the sweet tone of that guitar, the same one that John Lennon plays on Rain, is captured in the body of the songs. The band is eager for people to hear the new directions their music has gone. As Charles Kibel declares, “We want to get the new album to as many people as we can. We’re eager to perform it live.”
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Capricious without being alienating, ambiguous without being esoteric, syncretic without sounding incongruous, with a fantastic sense of humour and absurdity. This is what happens when a band is so confident in it’s own talent that it knows it doesn’t have to convince anyone else and just has fun.
Soft, sad and subdued, or loud, happy and rousing, there is an inherent sense of affirmation that threads it’s way through the emotional labyrinth of this album. From the wistful “Come On Let’s Go” to the reflective, hypnotic “Pass The Bread” to the mordant rhythm of “Lonesome As A Train” down to the newfangled psychedelic beat of “Nick’s New Groove,” Crazy Mary are always at their melodic best.
The album contains no sonic bullying nor grimy lyrical content, so ever present in today’s musical mixes, its rather consistently pleasant and decidedly well-balanced, casting the band as a versatile group of rock n’roll practitioners rather than some pretentious art project.
Truth be told there’s not a bad track here. Most of the songs fall, in either the dreamy, mid-tempo ballad-like category (“Ferris Wheel,” “Spring Flowers,” “Pass The Bread”) or the more straightforward and rock groove-oriented (“Lonesome As A Train,” “Come On Let’s Go,” “Cup Of Tea”) theme. Regardless of the style however, the outcome is always sublime and the flow effortless.
This 13 track album is undeniably significant for not only showcasing the group’s compositional talents, but in letting the world know that Crazy Mary understand the value of turning down their amps and letting their songs do the talking.
Crazy Mary’s music has a subtle, sagaciously psychedelic, retro-rock atmosphere, just let “Dreaming In Brilliant Color” envelope you.
Members/Instruments: Charles Kibel – Guitar; Em Z – Vocals; Walter Steding – Fiddle; Nick Raisz – Drums; Armand “The Wizard” Milletari – Bass; Parker Reilly Keyboards
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