Will Surface lives in the state of Colorado with his wife, Bailey and their daughter, Olivia. Will is a multi-instrumentalist, author and animator, “with not enough time in the day to work on the ideas that pop into my head,” he says. The Rude Nephew Orchestra is Will’s outlet to release solo music which he writes, plays all of the instruments on and produces in his home studio. Says Will: “A lot of the tracks include my wife adding vocals as well as a bit of writing credit. I am in the process of putting together a live band to take this music out for live performances in the near future.”
In the meantime The Rude Nephew Orchestra aka Will Surface has released a 14-track album, titled “High Yall”. One can’t help but wonder where his inspiration came from for this music. It is funky enough to make you tap your foot, with hooks that will have you humming all day at work. This is the kind of album you can listen to over and over again and hear something new every time. Throughout, Will Surface is constantly experimenting with sounds and arrangements.
“High Yall” is a collection of simply remarkable songs. It simply blew me off my feet. Memorable tunes, blazingly funky rhythms, far-reaching lyrics, and snippets of great guitar work. The fusion funk-rock, the free-form jamming, the doo-wop harmonies -the album is beautifully all over the map, without ever losing your attention. It even kicks off with a languid reggae rhythm on “Rise”!
In fact, I don’t know what is more impressive about “High Yall” – the sheer unmitigated audacity of Surface’s imaginative lyrics or the quant orchestration of the instrumentation. Will Surface unloads all of his tricks and skills on this album, moving between funk, old-school blues-rock, and straight-up jam-band sounds with agility and composure. By the time you get to the funky basslines and distorted vocals on “Feel”, you’ll be bobbing your head from side to side.
If you are interested in groovy, entertaining music, which does not sacrifice sophistication or good musicianship, you’re more than likely to find it here. Standout tracks that caught my attention on the very first listen, included the acoustic-guitar driven, “Olivia”, the gritty rhythms of “Back In The Day”, the whacky “Following The Grape”, the 70s acid sound of “Funk Soldier”, the beautiful piano retro-ballad “Perhaps The Roses” and possibly my favorite track on the entire album “The Last Two In The Garden”, which forges a minimal rolling rhythm and some great vocal tones to contrast a screaming guitar interlude which closes the track.
The music made by The Rude Nephew Orchestra is not comparable to anything else you’ll hear today. So this is a unique opportunity to discover something truly original and off the beaten track. Instrumentally, the music is complex and intense, yet easy on the ear. You’ll find great grooves, solid playing, melodies, harmonies and many other surprises which once formed the fulcrum of good music!