CD Review: The Good Morning Nags S/T

Posted: January 22, 2018 in Music
Tags: , , , , , , ,

thegoodmorningnagsSix-piece NYC based ensemble The Good Morning Nags is currently in the middle of making a name for themselves. The band consists of founding members Tim Hassler (fiddle, vocals), Ben Quinn (mandolin, guitar, harmonium, vocals), Titus Tompkins (percussion, mandolin, vocals) and Britt Reagan (guitar, dulcimer, vocals) as well as Mark Spitznagel (banjo, vocals) and Pete O’Neill (bass, vocals). As a group, the band comes together to create music that bridges the gap between the sound of classic Bluegrass music and more recent music that falls into the category of Americana because of the blending of styles to create a new sound and feel to the music. The Americana style from The Good Morning Nags blends Bluegrass, Folk and some Country together to create a sound that will find its place among fans of early forms of music. Throw in a little Old Timey influence to the music and you have a recipe for musical success.

Having originally formed back in 2010, The Good Morning Nags spent some of their time busking in the subways in New York. Since that time, hundreds of performances were logged before the band even recorded their first EP. But now, the band is celebrating the release of their new self-titled EP. The new self-titled EP from The Good Morning Nags begins with the track “Sugar Baby”. The track features a strong Folk/Bluegrass blend with a slight hint of something more to it. The blend suggests that this version of the track is not quite what lovers of Folk or Bluegrass may come to expect. That firmly puts the track into the Americana genre. The vocals on the track find the vocalists blending their voices in harmony just like you’d find on many Bluegrass tracks. Blending everything together into one song, The Good Morning Nags have a strong track that leads off their self-titled release.

With the next track on their self-titled release, the band does what most Bluegrass bands do: They take a shot at performing a well-known tune to make it their own, just like they did with “Sugar Baby”. It is with the standard tune “Blackberry Bush” that the band truly shows off their roots. While the standard is usually a spotlight tune for the fiddle, The Good Morning Nags have created a version that revolves around the fiddle from Tim Hassler while still incorporating the entire band in on the tune. The ensemble feel of the track creates a completely different take on the tune while still allowing the original tune to shine through.

“Love Like No Other,” an original track on the release, ventures slightly away from the Bluegrass style of the group and takes on the styling of the Country Rock band of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In fact, the tune recalls the early days of that band when they were creating music with a rather Old Timey feel to it. Specifically, “Love Like No Other” feels as if it would fit right alongside tracks from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s self-titled debut where several of the tracks were arrangements of older songs. While there is a definite Old Timey feel to “Love Like No Other,” that sound is perfect for lovers of the style.

The Good Morning Nags return to a standard mindset on the next track. “Cripple Creek” finds the band in full Bluegrass mode as they perform the tune. The version of the song that the band chose dates back over one hundred years to 1905. The track features the mandolin of Ben Quinn as the focal point in the song and the band creates a version of the song that lives up to that old standard while adding a nice energetic delivery to the music. “Cripple Creek” as performed by The Good Morning Nags finds the band in fine form as they bring a rather old tune into the modern era.

The Good Morning Nags bring their new self-titled album to a close with a track that could easily be described as the band’s theme song. “Good Morning Girl” finds the band creating a track that takes the genre of Bluegrass and turns it on its head. The resulting track contains the feel of Bluegrass but with a very modern take on it. The music has a bit of an edge to it while the lyrics have a slightly wry feel to them while being upbeat at the same time. The lyrics find the singer (a Good Morning Nag) singing an ode to his girlfriend (a Good Morning Girl). And then, when he has his say, the girl in question sings her response. The duet-style track is basically a love song being sung by two much worn people looking for their perfect matches. While it has a rather modern feel to the lyrics and music, underneath it all, the track has a timeless appeal to it.

The new self-titled release from The Good Morning Nags is a release that has a lot going for it: There are the elements of classic Bluegrass, classic Folk music and fresh arrangements of classic Bluegrass tunes all mixed together. While the album may be a tad unusual for those looking for a straight-out classic Bluegrass release, those with an open mind and an appreciation for Bluegrass music, Folk music and even Country music will much to enjoy on this album.

To check out the music of The Good Morning Nags, check out the band’s tune called “Love Like No Other”.

To purchase a copy of the new self-titled EP from The Good Morning Nags, click HERE.  

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, WHIPLASH PR.

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