lorenzo's music

lorenzo's music

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Member Since: 2006
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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What Type Of Music do You Play?

Lorenzo's Music is Tom Ray (vocals), Mark Whitcomb (guitar), Scott Beardsley (drums), Bryan Elliott (saxophone), and Chris Boeger (bass). They are not a punk band experimenting with 30's-style swing, an indie rock band trying their hands at Chicago-style blues, or a hardcore band exploring their love of latin rhythms. They are simply a group of talented guys who obviously see no reason why they can't just do all of the above.

While slamming together nearly every genre under the sun, Lorenzo's music does it with the greatest of ease. When writing about their last album, Holly Day of musicdish.com said of the band "instead of seeming like they're stretching themselves out too far, trying to do everything at once and trying to cover all their musical bases, they ease into each new song and genre as easy as breathing."

Reviews

---THE SLEEPLESS READER---

I’m finding it difficult to locate someone who doesn’t find something enjoyable about Lorenzo’s Music.
Believe me, I've tried. So far, I have played various tracks of theirs for fans of classic rock, hardcore, emo, ska, jazz, swing, blues, funk, and avant garde music. The responses have had a few common threads. “Why haven’t I heard of these guys before?” “You never hear stuff like this on the radio.” "Who the hell is Lorenzo?"

And the most common response, “Hey…let me borrow that CD.”

Why does this band out of Madison, Wisconsin, hold such universal appeal? Listening to their album Schematic (2000, Crustacean Records) should provide the answer. If you happen to be the type of person who decides whether or not to buy an album based on one track, I'd pick All I Want as the one which best showcases the band's talents. Like the driving beat? The brilliant use of the horns in the arrangement? The alternatingly smooth and raw vocals? I thought you would.

But don't be fooled into thinking that the rest of the album sounds the same or even similar. Rather than defining themselves as performers of one style of music or another, Lorenzo's Music moves between styles effortlessly. They are not a punk band experimenting with 30's-style swing, an indie rock band trying their hands at Chicago-style blues, or a hardcore band exploring their love of latin rhythms. They are simply a group of talented guys who obviously see no reason why they can't just do all of the above. As Holly Day of musicdish.com wrote of them in 2000, "instead of seeming like they're stretching themselves out too far, trying to do everything at once and trying to cover all their musical bases, they ease into each new song and genre as easy as breathing."


Despite local success and the release of Schematic in mid-2000, changes in career and geography took their toll. The guitarist and one horn player left to pursue careers in law and medicine, respectively. Whitcomb and Beardsley left to tour as the rhythm section for a solo artist. Lorenzo's Music was no more.

In a bit of irony still too bizarre for me to fully wrap my head around, the day in 2001 that the band Lorenzo's Music officially broke up, Mr. Lorenzo Music (actor, producer, voice of Garfield) died of cancer at the age of 64. Really.

A couple of years passed. Ray was still in Madison and had continued to write music. Whitcomb had returned to Madison and opened his own recording studio. Ray recalls, "And one night [in the fall of 2003] out of the blue Mark called me to invite me to an open jam he was hosting at a club in downtown Madison. I showed up and Mark asked what I had been doing and if I was still writing songs. He asked me if I would want to work with him. I said, 'Of course!'"

Their reunion is our good luck. The band has recorded a collection of tracks, no less eclectic than those on Schematic, which are scheduled to be released as their second album, Solamente Tres Polabras. For those of you who took French instead of Spanish in high school, that translates to "just three words". And in case you're wondering if that title has some deep or romantic meaning, don't. The group decided on the name when they realized that all of the songs on the album had three-word titles.

Hot Water Avalanche, I consider it the best of the bunch. As often happens, it was tough for me to pick a best track, but not for the usual reason. With most bands, it's tough to choose a best song because so many of their songs sound the same. With Lorenzo's Music, the problem arises because all the tracks are so unique. Each holds a different appeal for me at different times and when I am in different moods. An album that anticipates my needs...what more can I ask for?

Sam Gulino The Sleepless Reader on 2/14/2005