Check out these tracks by the Whiskey Collection!
For more, visit www.myspace.com/thewhiskeycollection
there are two things that, as a musician, i’ve always amazed by:
the first of those things is highly talented instrumentalists. i recall being a student and always hearing incredible sounds while i roamed the halls of the practice floor. and, it was these sounds that could be both annoying, after a fifth hour of practice or, inspiring. some of my most inspired moments came after hearing some of the most beautiful notes that i’ve ever been privy to being sung and played by peers of mine. some of these musicians were the product of hours of practice that started when they could hardly hold their instruments and, others were these same musicians making me feel inferior on my primary instrument with a showcase of virtuosity on a secondary or tertiary instrument. however, i think that the greatest of these moments were a product of chance music encounters with non-musicians. i would always run into dancers or, actors who had seriously pursued music at some point and just had an incredible way with notes. the group that i’m going to introduce to you this week is exciting for a number of reasons, including, all of those aforementioned.
formed in 2009, the whiskey collection has a sound that’s self-described as, “our own homegrown blend of groove oriented folk rock.” and, i think that this description is appropriate. when i hear their music, i am instantly swept away into a sonic whirlwind reminiscent of lazy, southern days when a breeze and a cold drink are all one needs to have a good time. the group is comprised of vocalist/guitarist cameron scoggins, bassist alex jenkins, russell durham on violin & mandolin, kyle brightwell on percussion and corey gerstenfeld on back up vocals.
between the combined myspace pages of vocalist/guitarist cameron scoggins and the collective page of the band, there are four songs. while, that’s normally more than enough for me to evaluate and be disappointingly done with a band, the four tracks are nothing but a tease that leave me in a frenzy for more from this exciting quintet. the music has a certain pace and authenticity to it that feels familiar, comforting and genuinely honest in a world full of transparent one hit wonders and vacuous club anthems. i guess that i shouldn’t expect less from these five individuals. while i do not personally know each member of the group, i’ve seen cameron beautifully present some of the greatest text in the history of written word as a member of the drama department at the juilliard school. i’ve also had the pleasure of seeing corey and kyle magnificently perform as members of the juilliard orchestra. while this is neither bard nor berlioz, i’m sure that their artistic expertise didn’t hurt in helping them to assimilate their own version of a classic american style.
there’s nothing more heartwarming than a taste of americana and, these five do the music a great service. my personal favorite is lazy jim. it’s a toe-tapping piece that has just a bit of all of the right ingredients. a great feel, great lyrics and all of the varying musical landscape that you need for a complete song. i especially like the introduction of ms. gerstenfeld’s backing vocals. here, i find a prime example of one the surprises that i mentioned before. when i first met corey, i knew her only as a bassist. but when she entered on the bridge of the song with the perfectly placed support to mr. scoggins’ voice, i was very happily surprised. she is not only a great bassist, but her and cameron share a type of voice that sounds like its been hardened from years of cigarette smoke and whiskey drinking.
this group has all of the pieces that they need to be a success: a great songwriting team and apt vocalists & instrumentalists. all that i can do now is eagerly await the next installment into their slowly growing yet powerful songbook. if there ever were an argument for the old adage, quality over quantity, this group would be right at the top of examples.
stay tuned for an interview with vocalist/guitarist cameron scoggins. in the mean time you can hear their music on myspace;