Reviews for Bad Gravity Day
- Bad Gravity Day
- Do What I Can
- Keep Walkin'
- Minimum Wager
- One Meatball
- Can't Hang Up
- Barefoot John
- A Prayer For the Living
- Down Easy
- Now Is the Hour
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Chuck McCabe "Bad Gravity Day"
Abituato fin da piccolo a spostarsi spesso, per il lavoro dei suoi genitori,
Chuck McCabe ha avuto modo di vedere e conoscere il mondo in tutte le sue
forme e le sue abitudini, sia negli USA che per mezzo mondo. Da attento
e sensibile osservatore ha messo le sue impressioni nella sua musica e nelle
sue canzoni, attente al mondo dei piccoli uomini e alle problematiche sociali.
Anche se da tanti anni sulla scena, Chuck ha inciso solo due dischi e quest'ultimo
lo porta di diritto fra i più interessanti folk-singer del panorama
odierno. Grazie anche all'aiuto di numerosi ospiti come Maria Muldar, Alice
Stuart e Freebo. Bad Gravity Day è un disco che convince per quella
giusta mistura di folk, blues, suoni d'annata e ballad di qualità
tra canzoni originali ma che si rifanno alla tradizione come Can't Hang
Up o Do What I Can o una delle qualsiasi tracce che completano l'album.
Everyone's had a Bad Gravity Day, one of those days where the weight
of the air is too much and getting through life puts entirely too much pressure
on tired bones and an even more exhausted mind. Happily, Chuck McCabe survived
his, to create this album for all those still trapped in that gravity well.
The title song itself hits too close to that old feeling. Heavy, slow,
plodding and lightened only by the dark humor of an emphatic tuba, "Bad
Gravity Day" perfectly captures the kind of day that leaves you too
tired to be depressed. This is a song to put the plod in your walk and unify
travelers half sleeping through an early-morning commute. The mood becomes
more forgiving with "Do What I Can," a lament for a life mostly
squandered. The regret is offset both by the gentle, folk-country tune and
the final insistence that he'd live his life the same over again.
Though Bad Gravity Day spends most of its time in appropriately heavy
waters, it ventures into more upbeat music with the energetic, persistent
"Keep Walking" and the lighter, harmonica-infused "Can't
Hang Up." Whether it's a bubble frail moment of reminiscence or the
eager self-destruction of a doomed romance, McCabe proves he can write a
mood into verse with raw honesty.
But those writing talents soar when he handles a story. "Minimum
Wager" is always going to be familiar to far too many people. The mind-crushing
life of those just above the bottom is rarely given such a poetic examination,
but from the moment the song's first star changes "out of her hamburger
red, getting into her fried chicken blue," McCabe shows the human face
of the working poor in uncomfortable detail. Despite its obvious social
commentary, "Minimum Wager" isn't a political song, just a tale
of observation, and that lack of a strident message gives it a more lingering
sting. "Barefoot John" seems like he must have slipped off that
bottom rung of the ladder. Begging his way around town to the background
of some appropriate hobo blues, John achieves fame and welcome only after
he's gone. Anyone with a locally famous street liver already knows something
of John, but McCabe allows for more detail in his story.
"Barefoot John" provides a welcome transition from the somber
determination of "Minimum Wager" to the jaunty, almost nostalgic
song of the five-cent "One Meatball." The cause of the impoverished
diner's bare pockets is never explained, and the presence of the accommodating
diner seems almost magical now. As human as they are, the stories of poverty
on Bad Gravity Day always hold something of the legend about them, from
the unthinking sacrifice of "Minimum Wager" to the thoughtful
acceptance of "Barefoot John." These three songs become the sagas
of heroes on an album dedicated to the harder moments of life.
Bad Gravity Day ends with an attempt to lighten the weight of the world.
The cheerful sinner's confession "Down Easy" has much of the smooth
bounce heard in "One Meatball" and makes even he worst ending
seem softer. "Now is the Hour" is a plainly Hawaiian instrumental.
An oddly delicate tune for this heavy album, it whispers of brighter times
to come. McCabe does promise his next album will be more cheerful, nothing
but happy songs. Bad Gravity Day may be his exploration of trouble and woe,
but those who like good storytelling and a touch of blues in their folk
will find it puts a smile on their face all the same.
- Sarah Meador, www.rambles.net
Splendid E-zine review
It's becoming increasingly difficult to find country music that doesn't
reek of Hollywood gloss or attempt to ride the wave of the alt-country phenomenon.
Chuck McCabe is an exception: he refuses to follow any of the slick trends
that rob the genre of its charm. How dare he? What McCabe does do is blend
styles -- and very well, at that. Bad Gravity Day is a hybrid of country,
jazz, blues and Americana, the same kind of fusion you'll encounter on a
Los Lobos or Lyle Lovett release. The opener, "Bad Gravity Day",
exemplifies the content: McCabe sets his smoky, Kenny Rogers-like croon
to jazzy, rubato acoustic strumming and a kitchen-sink ensemble. Banjo melodies,
tuba bass lines and steel guitar washes create a mysterious yet natural
tapestry. "Do What I Can" offers an immediate shift; it's a ballad,
reminiscent of any number of the greats (George Jones, Dolly, Johnny Cash)
in both musicianship and storytelling.The kids at Tower Records will most
likely tuck Bad Gravity Day away in the country bin. However, those who've
ignored the genre's last decade because of Shania and Garth will be relieved
to learn that there's still substance in them thar hills.
- Dave Madden
Geekamerica.com (dude, where's my review?)
Chuck McCabe is really stoked that photoshop was invented so that hecould
have pictures of himself in his Hawaiian shirt next to his acoustic guitar
that's warped and bent all over the place. Dude kinda looks like Huell Howser,
only without the awesome TV show.
Music Dish Review
Sometimes it's good to try new things. Sometimes it's smart to stick
with what you know. Then there are those times when one should mix things
up a bit. Not too much of he new, and not too much of the same old. That's
kind of what Chuck McCabe does with this album. He gives his listeners a
little taste from the best of both worlds, without straying too far in either
Mixing his infectious contemporary blues style with the sweet and gentle
beauty of folk music, McCabe presents his creation with the shine of a diamond.
Bad Gravity Day is one of those albums that makes me want to tell everyone
The music is a mixture of blues and folk, that simply sucks the listener
into every song. There's nothing too complex about the style, but the music
is so easy to get into that it's almost unreal. It music that is real and
true. It's just too bad I don't get to hear more of it.
Chuck McCabe is armed with little more than an acoustic guitar throughout
much of this album, but isn't afraid to pick up the tempo either. The songs
are heartfelt and passionate, allowing almost anyone to easily relate to
what Chuck is saying in each song. This is definitely an album worth writing
about, and one that you shouldn't wait to check out if you're into this
style of music. Truly refreshing!
- Lyrics/Songwriting: Four Stars
- Production Quality: Four Stars
- Musicianship: Three Stars
- Originality: Three Stars
- Over All: Three Stars
Minor 7th Review
Singer/songwriter Chuck McCabe radiates goodness, honesty and decency
like sunshine on a fishing pond. Oh sure, he disguises it with some nasty
swamp rock in "Keep Walkin'," with the devilishly jazzy "One
Meatball", and with his bluesy "Down Easy". Still, there's
no mistaking his unwavering faith in a higher power that keeps him keeping
on despite a lifetime filled with curveballs and screwballs. On "Bad
Gravity Day", his second CD on BlahBlahWoofWoof, McCabe scopes out
the current human condition and makes sense of it through various measures
of humor, optimism and compassion. He creates a folk anthem with "Barefoot
John", and a prayer for seeing the glass half full on "Do What
I Can". McCabe's frank take on life in the country jukebox-ready "Minimum
Wager", an ode to the working life, will wring your heart and tug your
soul. Musically, he favors a '70s-ish comfortable country/folk/blues palette
-- some of his session players virtually embody that era: Maria Muldaur,
Gene Parsons, Freebo. Other sessionists bring McCabe's compositions into
full bloom, often highlighting his considerable finger-picking talents.
An agreeable voice, an agreeable guy, McCabe wears pretty easy. Still, stripped-down
versions of some of these tracks may have made this a stronger collection.
- Fred Kraus
Bad Gravity Day is musically sublime and rich in lyrical content; funny,
sad, joyous and thoughtful in a way few releases are.
Chuck McCabe will enrich your life with his perceptive commentary in
the form of a self-reflective prayer that tears open a world spinning out
of control to reveal moments of genuine goodness. An ode to... and more
importantly... for the downtrodden, opressed, put-upon, self-sacrificing
"little people" who make up this world, this disc encourages and
empowers as it entertains.
It's no wonder he won the Woody Guthrie song competition with "Minimum
Wager" whose fast-food workers are the contemporary equivalent of the
migrant laborers and deportees of an earlier age. "Barefoot John"
is one of the best songs in any style I've heard in years... poignant, serious,
funny and engaging it hurts and makes you feel good at the same time.
Some of the best music you're ever going to hear delivered from the heart,
with soul. This is the real thing.
Chuck Foster, KPFK
Quotes About Bad Gravity Day
"Pick of the week" (3 times!) - Rich Warren, WFMT Chicago's, Midnight Special
"Just keep on writing that good music. Your latest cd is really
a gem". - Roz and Howard Larman, Folkscene, KPFK
"Best release I've heard this year..." - Dave Stafford, KKUP