Artist Review: Falling Water
November 18, 2011
by Mark Rechler
Check out some video of the show in the attached section.
It’s the big night. Sullivan Hall, Friday November 18th. “Will they show up”? “Will we play well”? “Will it all come together”? These are the things that a band worries about, especially before your first gig/CD release party. Falling Water is a band that formed as an outlet for my growing accumulation of darker songs. My other band, Circus Mind is a funky bar band that is focused on getting crowds up and dancing. It wouldn’t have been the right fit for these songs.
Falling Water was thus born…
I found myself with about three albums worth of beautiful and dark rock songs. Influences span early ’70’s rock, maybe Elton John, Beatles, Pink Floyd. Newer influences or similar artists might be Dawes, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket. And like those bands, we can take a mellow tune and play it mellow, or rock it out.
We have been promoting the new CD, The Slow Down since the late summer, and we’ve been getting decent radio play on college stations and specialty shows. We’ve received some amazing reviews. Now it was time to put it on the stage and see how it translates. One of the things I hate about the New York Club scene is how many bands they tend to book in a single night, giving you a measly 45 minute set. As a keyboard player, I can tell you that that’s a lot of equipment to lug in and set up for such a short playing time. For our record release party, Sullivan Hall offered us a double set if we could guarantee over 100 heads. “Hmmmm…a guarantee? Doh! I’ll do it”! “I just have to figure out how to stretch my EP into 90 minutes.” I didn’t want to fall into the trap that many bands fall into, by playing too many covers and eventually evolving into a cover band. I’m a song writer first, and a keyboard player second in my mind. I figure I’ll have to make an exception this night if I want to fill the 90 minute slot, so we start rehearsing the new songs.
We show up, we set up the merch and the room starts to fill up with my peeps. People I have been badgering for weeks come out for this special night. “I hope we can live up to the expectations”. One of our two back-up singers is late, a text says she’s still a few blocks away. We have to make a last minute set change. Of course there is no sound check, so we line check and hit it! First song, “The Slow Down”, the title track from the CD comes off decent, but not nearly as tight as the rehearsal, as does the second tune, “Early Frost”. The backing vocals are hard to hear and sound a bit off to me. But we hit our stride with “Bastards”, the third tune, and continue to warm up from there. Coming off the Leo Nocintelli tour the week before, I needed to give my friends and fans a bit of funk, but something that still related to the music I am doing with Falling Water. So we did Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair”. This of course seemed to really grab the crowd and pull them in. Then we busted out a brand new song called “Bad Shit”, an Elton John meets Ben Folds type of thing. Drummer Dave Diamond kills the tune and explodes in the reprise ending. Followed by a pull out of Mott the Hooples “All the Young Dudes”. Guitarist Bill Titus, who played a nearly flawless show as usual, really takes the tune to a new place. This is normally when we would have taken a set break, but instead I made a call to go straight through, as to not lose the crowd. So we continued with our single from the EP called “Crutch” and new song “Take Me Down”. Then tore it up with Elton John’s “Take Me to the Pilot”. We played the final epic song from the EP “Release”, a painful song about letting go of a dying loved one….hard to cheer up a crowd with that, but you can rock it and move them, and I believe we succeeded. Bass player Chris Crosby opens the tune up like a Jane’s Addiction tune, and it morphs into a beautiful song that goes from a Belle & Sebastion feel to a kicking a Pearl Jam chorus and a Peter Gabriel meets Beach Boys break. It seemed to be many people’s fave. It was then time to really give the people what they wanted, so we throw them a bone with The Band’s tune “The Weight”, with back-up girl’s Niki and Nophi each rocking verses. We go out big! Next stop that night…New Master Sounds for our after-party!
So now what? I’m not sure. Working on the new CD . Seven great tunes I am totally jazzed about, but right now I could really use someone to help me book some Falling Water shows at the right venues in front of the right crowds. I believe the music will attach itself to the people and that these songs will give them some hope and beauty in their lives.