desert motel

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Desert Motel Reviews

Desert Motel Album

Editors Review, TROPIA.COM
"Quiet arrangements and haunting vocals allow Mr. Farr's music to transcend the ordinary folk-based album. Open your ears to not only what Ned Farr is saying, but how he says it."

"A piece of plaintive and stark acoustic songsmithery, "Could Have Been Good" provides the listener with a lovely warm feeling inside. A lonesome violin provides a bitter sweet melody in the background to Farr's slight but emotive voice and strummed acoustic guitar, while the sweet melody lines that vaguely recall Mark Cohn's Walking In Memphis evoke feelings of both sadness and redemption. Beautiful."

The Graham Weekly Album Review
"Concept albums" were among the many artifacts that arose in the 1960s...In the Empty Vee era of rapid-fire sound bytes that have reduced people's attention span to no more than a few seconds, concept albums have gone the way of thoughtful political discourse. But this week, we have a recording that carries on the tradition, succeeding in capturing the best elements of the form in both content and execution, without any of its pretense. And it is also in an area that has not seen very many recordings in that vein: not by a regular band, but by a singer-songwriter. It's the new CD by Ned Farr called Desert Motel. In fact, in "concept," this new release is something of a sequel to his first album, The Good Red Road which was made five years ago.

The new CD's title Desert Motel sums up the overall "concept" behind this album, with backdrop for these songs of mostly rocky personal relationships taking place in a desolate motel out in the middle of nowhere in the New Mexico desert. One could easily imagine the songs' scenes taking places in the motel's various rooms, and indeed the CD provides subtle snippets of sound between the tracks to reinforce the atmosphere.

Musically, the CD is unlike most singer-songwriter albums, which tend to be fairly limited in their musical scope. Desert Motel is full of rich, highly creative arrangements that make strikingly effective use of a relatively small number of musicians, with instrumental colors that range from folky to atmospheric to energetically rocky -- sometimes all within the same song. Subtle orchestrations with violin, steel guitar, accordion, clarinet and other unconventional instruments; the skillful use of dynamics; along with Farr's winsome folky tenor vocals makes this an album that will quickly draw you into its beguiling musical vignettes, in a way that will have you listening to the album on different levels each time you hear it.

Ned Farr's new second CD Desert Motel is fine new recording that brings back the old idea of a concept album in the settings for the songs, the way they relate to each other and even the order in which they appear. Farr has been working on this CD for about three years now, on and off, facing such obstacles as a fire in the studio where he was mixing. But after doing all the work independently, the result is a memorable record that is full of musical subtlety and is often downright captivating in its sound. Sonically, in terms of production and mix, the album is definitely a class act. Engineer and co-producer Evan Richey nicely captured the subtlety of the performances. Again, even in terms of the sound, this CD rewards repeated listening with new facets becoming apparent each time.

Listener feedback

01 Louis said on 24/04/01
Thank You Ned Farr :) Keep-on-jam'n

02 Ralph Lammertink said on 07/04/01
Damned what a good music.

03 Mike Heath said on 16/03/01
Great, straight-forward and completely listenable.
Really nicely produced and well performed. Great songs. What more can I say? Great stuff!!

04 Monaghan said on 15/03/01
I am very impressed, good work, like em all, all the best, Joe.

06 ELIOT said on 08/03/01
Wow, what an impressive biography,and mature song-writing...good-luck Ned. Judas is a good one.

Desert Motel Credits

  • Ned Farr: vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Jon Ossman: bass, stick
  • Joe Casalino: drums, percussion
  • Jim Olbrys: electric guitar
  • Peter Kiesewalter: piano, accordion, clarinet, soprano sax
  • Dreya Weber: vocals
  • Cenovia Cummins: violin, electric violin solo on "Snake"
  • David Hamburger: pedal steel
  • Evan Richey: cello, vocals
  • Craig Richey: wurlitzer, vocals
  • Reneé Venetiale: vocals

Produced by Evan Richey and Ned Farr
Engineered and mixed by Evan Richey
Recorded at The Place Studio and at Magic Hour Music, NYC
Mastered by George Graham
All songs by Ned Farr © 1999 Waiting wind, ASCAP