Top 40 Songs of 2014 PF Wilson 01.2015  MusicOpinion  Well, better late than never, right? Actually, it took a while just to compile the top 10. By the way, you can hear PF and Pop Culture Beast contributing photographer Hannah, alternate counting down their top 10 songs on PF’s Tape Recorder Comedy Podcast Episode 181. It should be noted too that some of these tracks were released in 2013, but were still climbing the sales/airplay charts in 2014.  Enjoy! The Orwells- “Who Needs You?” Saint Motel- “Just My Type” Fitz & The Tantrums- “Fool’s Gold” Chvrches- “We Sink” LIGHTS- “Running with the Boys” G.R.L.- “Ugly Heart” Cults- “No Hope” Zedd featuring Hayley Williams- “Stay the Night” Bleachers- “Better” Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings- “Chasing the Sun” ” - PF Wilson

Pop Culture Beast

This album – the 6th by Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings – paints a truly American landscape of road trips, strange characters, dreams, nostalgia, and hope. It captures what it is like to be alive in the here and now, all the while paying tribute to what got you this far. Songwriter Andy Hawk pens ear-candy melodies, but he adds stunningly sharp, witty, funny, and poignant lyrics to the mix as well, which means the more you listen, the more “wow” moments you have. His voice is somewhere between Robert Earl Keen and Randy Newman, and his songs are just as well-crafted as the ones by those two. You won’t get Bono-esque range, but you’ll get a depth that is lacking in much of today’s music. Hawk, obviously influenced by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and even Tom Waits, knows how to write a great 3-minute song, with a catchy chorus, hooks galore, and words that reveal themselves in a series of “ahas”. The band went to Austin last year and recorded with Merel Bregante, one-time drummer with Loggins & Messina, and the production quality shows. Bregante and his wife, country singer Sarah Pierce, also added some lovely harmonies - along with Nancy Griffith-Cochran - to complement the sound, and Bregante’s production touch serves the songs well. Opener “Sunshine Waterdance” is as exuberant as the title suggests, and it sets the album’s tone. It’s a toe-tapper from the first chord, with a killer riff to boot - a celebration of summer and life: “Listen to the time passing by / try to swallow rainclouds with your eyes / can’t you feel the sand beneath your sleep / sail into the sun, a singing dream…” The lyrics are playful and insightful. Next is “Maybe Someday”, a lovely piano-driven ballad with another memorable hook, played on a mando-cello by guest Cody Braun of the band Reckless Kelly. This might be the best song in the collection, although it has competition. “She Stopped the Rain” is a jangly Byrds/Beatles-influenced love song with a 12-string Rickenbacker in there for good measure. The versatile Braun provides a fiddle as well. A beer-hall piano opens “Real Gone Girl”, which is written from the point of view of Dean Moriarty, a character in "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. Allusions to the novel abound: “Hey, Old Sal, let’s get to New Orleans / to Old Bull Lee’s, just pass the Benzedrine / I won’t sleep tonight / the nighttime feels so right”. It all leads into a singalong chorus that’ll get into your head quite quickly. As a diversion, “Awkwardly at Ease”, co-written by Hawk and drummer Pat Holbrook, has a dreamy weirdness to it, both musically and lyrically. Bregante provides all kinds of odd percussion, and the hypnotic chord pattern takes you to dreamland. Bassist Chuck Bordelon shines especially on this song, adding to the song’s quirky nature with a circus-like bassline, although he’s a solid, melodic player throughout. “Walking Around” embraces summer and youth in its driving rhythmic motion. We’ve all had that magical moment with a group or with a new, albeit doomed, love where the present is all you have, and you drink it down with gusto: “Afraid to sleep because we’d miss what we’d become / hoping for a sign or chance to just be anyone…” Ah, youth. Perhaps the most-melancholy song on the album, “My Old Hometown” captures the decay and hopelessness of the Rust Belt where “the twisted days are long / the whiskey’s straight and strong.” Hawk grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, and he paints a vivid picture of how it’s eroded. “Spinning gold to straw / snow that never thaws / I feel my life’s a hand-me-down / in my old hometown.” It’s the kind of country song that would be a smash for Toby Keith or Kenny Chesney, although it’s nowhere near the cheese of new country. Paul Bordelon’s acoustic lead guitar is beautiful, and Hawk sings like he’s lived it. “Chasing the Sun”, released last year as a single, is a companion piece to “Sunshine Waterdance”, a celebration of getting away, with another nice guitar solo by Paul Bordelon, and a terrific piano byAdam Marsland, one-time member of the band Cockeyed Ghost. Rocker “I Never Thought to Ask” – another Hawk/Holbrook composition - has the narrator kicking himself for holding his tongue when he should’ve spoken up. “You asked me up for coffee, I said no / ‘You know I don’t  like coffee, gotta go’ / it took me years to figure out that scene / now I drink my tea with coulda been.” This is another universal theme. Doesn't everyone have a memory of holding back when they should've jumped? The title track takes us back home after a long New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the 19-year-old protagonist gets an eyeful. hanging with guys named The Rock and The Rubber Man, and crawling back from a party “stinking smoke and gasoline.” One gets the feeling that this is at least partially based on real-life events. Braun again helps out with a raunchy harmonica solo, and Chuck Bordelon adds an electric guitar solo as well. A good ol' raunchy blues song to put a nightcap on the record. Ten songs, one enjoyable ride. Who knows what’s next for this band, but they’re definitely worth a listen right now.” - Darren Simmons

No Depression Magazine

Virginia songwriter Andy Hawk recently released his latest album "American Vertigo" through his website, andyhawk.com. It features his wonderful backing band, The Train Wreck Endings and was recorded by one-time Loggins & Messina drummer, Merel Bregante in Austin, TX. The sound of the title-song, "American Vertigo" has a bluesy feel, while the full Americana experience flows through "Walking Around. The feel-good tone of "My Old Hometown" shows a maturity within Hawk's songwriting as he delivers from the heart. There is a dixieland jazz flair within "Real Gone Girl," that gives the song that extra boost of energy, while the beauty of "Maybe Someday" will make you an instant fan. To find out more about Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings and their latest release "American Vertigo," please visit andyhawk.com.”

JP's Music Blog

An album of leaving and staying, of coming and going, of loving and longing, and the wonderful happenstances of life… NOTE: The band’s CD-release show will be at the Iota Club in Arlington on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m.  Kung Fu Gift Shop will open. Everyone gets a free CD with the $10 entry fee.  Album is available on iTunes, Amazon, and most download services, and at CDbaby. Sorta Kinda Maybe – the fourth album by the Leesburg-based Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings – is a happy-sounding mish-mash of rock, pop, blues, and roots music, but it’s held together with a string of lyrics that evoke the heaviness and desperation of striking out on a new path, and the longing, randomness, and freedom of the road.  The ambitious 12-song album – which includes an 8-song bonus disc – ultimately depicts the pain and beauty of being alive. It’s joyous and sad and everything between – a perfect road album. The road is a potent myth in America, and much of this album reflects a Kerouac-like yearning for what’s ahead, with the knowledge that what’s left behind will be sorely missed. Hawk’s lyrics are playful and earnest at the same time, and his characters inhabit a world in constant flux where movement is the only certainty. The road isn’t easy, but it offers something that fills a great American need for someplace else. John Steinbeck wrote in his road story “Travels with Charlie”: I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation – a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something, but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. The title track reflects the scattered wonder of life’s many perspectives: “Masquerades / a twisted phrase / the strangest things turn into facts / a story true but not exact.” Truth, indeed, is not always an absolute. It is in the eye of the beholder.  Jesse Black provides soaring harmonies around a track that sounds like vintage R.E.M. with a little psychedelic ‘60s thrown in for good measure, thanks to Pascal Nasta’s groovy drums. “Strawberry Smile”, the first single from the album, changes the narrator’s life with a chance meeting in the California desert: “She rolled her window down with elegant fingers / let out a laugh like bubble gum / she asked directions, I set the course / then I forgot where I came from…” He sees his chance and figures, why not? Fate gets a nudge from his opportunistic ideas: “She said, ‘ I thought I’d take a drive out to the Salton Sea / I don’t fit in here in Palm Springs’ / I claimed coincidence, ‘I’m headed there myself / I heard it looks like bathtub ring’…” Our hero essentially altered the course of his life with one “what the hell” moment. The fact that the Salton Sea is a dying, stinking, man-made, ex-resort probably piqued his interest as much as our strawberry-smiled girl did. Told to a two-chord toe-tapping rhythm, this story puts you in the car to witness an instant connection and a tale that’ll last a lifetime, even if this is their only day together. There’s an interesting outro as well, that shifts into a gear reminiscent of the end of The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye”. Birds and butterflies reinforce the floaty road show, as they appear more than once in the thread of the songs. “Blackbird on a lonely wire was waiting, but my mind was gone,” Hawk writes on “Letting Go”, a tune co-written with bassist Chuck Bordelon. The leaving is difficult but necessary, although he asks, “ever get the feeling you’re driving away / from all you know? / the rear-view tears at you / the pull of the undertow / and the people recede into the too huge world in calico / and you know it’s time for letting go…” The Sunday-morning leaving is the hardest - you know you’re on your way, but you linger in the awkward space between staying and going. “Letting Go” has beautiful harmonies and piano, courtesy of California musician Adam Marsland – ex of Cockeyed Ghost – who captured the song’s melancholy perfectly. Bordelon adds a surprisingly bubbly bass line to the ballad, which suggests that although it’s sad to be going, it’s also exciting to be on your way. Later, the dreamy song “Thoughts While Driving Home” talks of “butterflies and gravestones,” and album closer, the quirky “Painted Sky” asks a girl to “give me a sign, a butterfly / oh my / drifting through my painted sky.” More randomness and the beauty of going where the wind (or the girl) takes you. Marsland’s piano work on “Painted Sky” is spot-on, capturing the vaudevillian, circus-like atmosphere of a down-on-his-luck man at a horse track who lets a free-spirited woman – again – change the course of his life by closing her eyes and placing a finger on the next race’s ultimate winner. He wins by letting go of his black-and-white worldview. It’s a terrific track to end the album, as it brings the Sorta Kinda Maybe theme back into the loop on the way out of the old town and on the way into a new one. There’s humor in all this dice-rolling, too. “Next Best Man” is a break-up story told with a smirk. “She pulled outside the house / in a brand-new moving van / driven by some caveman / she said, ‘baby, meet my next best man / I’ll take the bank accounts / you keep the ’88 sedan / I’ll be out in Spokane / so, bye, bye, baby, you’re the next best man.’” Well, by the time the song ends, he’s already chatting up someone else: “I might not be name-brand / I might be Peter Pan / might be second-hand / but you might like the next best man…” This bluesy tune features funky percussion tracks, including someone banging on an empty gas tank that emits a caveman-like grunting sound, and a smoking lead guitar solo by Paul Bordelon that seems inspired by the Georgia Satellites. Bordelon also adds a terrifically weird intro to the song that sounds like a UFO landing. And why not, since this album darts all over the country like a bunch of aliens eavesdropping into the lives of everyday Americans. Next is Paul Bordelon and Hawk’s collaboration on “Rum Talking”, a boozy bit of funk that pokes fun at “weekend hippies” who seem to have littered trash cans all over the world with failed novels and tie-dye dreams, only to punch back in the next work week in their “clip-on Monday tie / a novel in a trash bin / crumbled up with sighs…” Lisa Fiorilli’s beautifully rendered sax accompaniment spices “Written on the Road” with a perfect splash of longing. Another song about heading out of town, the narrator says, “I breathe the beaten air, and leave for anywhere but here…” The ballad lets us reflect for a moment before we take off on another wild ride… “Stories That We Tell” follows our guy waking up “drunk and early / in the Chalk-Outline Motel,” not sure exactly who his companion is or where they ended up. He apparently told some whoppers along the way, too: “I asked her, ‘Am I still in New York City?’ / she asked me when I joined the NFL / I said I had a game that day in Cleveland / oh, the stories that we tell…” This chunky, guitar-driven piece of rock-n-roll has a seedy feel and complements the lyrics nicely. Our drunken lad also told his girl that he was once in The Beatles, and she doesn’t call him on it: “She said I looked too young to be a Beatle / I thanked her for the compliment / I told her Rubber Soul was mostly my songs / she never asked for any evidence.” That line ends with a clever, “beep, beep, n, beep, beep,” a reference to “Drive My Car”, which opens Rubber Soul. “Never out of Place” follows and captures the exhilaration and earnestness of being young. Based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this song was written in 2001 when Hawk spent a month alone in Nashville, playing when he could and writing for his sanity. It’s a slice of ‘70s rock at its best, with wonderful backing vocals from Nancy Griffith-Cochran, whose singing blends well with Hawk’s gravel-road voice. She – along with Black – gives the album an extra bit of intricacy that strengthens the entire collection. Chuck Bordelon’s lovely bass line solo helps us wave the couple into the future. Chuck wrote a catchy, frantic tune with an ‘80s feel and Hawk penned words that turned it into “Midnight Run”, which picks up where its predecessor left us and encapsulates the classic youthful, summertime love affair – a vacation spark that explodes in intensity partly over the time constraints real life puts on most getaways. “I saw you in the neon night / shining brightly / it was June and 17 / who could fight it?” This song is every stolen kiss under the boardwalk or on top of the Ferris wheel – intense, memorable, and over way too quickly. Song number 11 of the 12 is the one that actually seems to sum up the entire package. Musically, “Everywhere & Everything” sounds like it came from the Johnny Cash songbook – although, I’d suggest also checking out the Ramones-inspired version of the same song on the bonus disc, which proves a great song sounds good in more than one genre – and its words again speak of life’s strange twists and of wanting to experience all of it. “You ask me where I want to go / you ask me what I want to know / you ask me what I want to sing / everywhere and everything…” The bonus disc is full of songs that might well have fit on the CD proper, but for one reason or another, they end up here, which makes it a nice 8-song disc of its own. Highlights include the bluesy “From the Word Go”; another driven by Marsland’s piano, called “Afterthoughts”; the Dylanesque “The Speakeasy (in Revere)”, a ballad about a real bar in Revere, Mass., that depicts the devastation of spinning your wheels; and “Watercolor in the Rain”, a great tune that builds from Chris Stoudt’s naked piano to a full-blown band rock out. There’s also a wisp of old Train Wreck Ending Steve DeVries, who left the band in 2011 with a move to Texas. DeVries was a versatile performer, and “Lovely Light” – left off last year’s Another Storyline - showcases his diversity, as he plays mandolin, banjo, harmonica, acoustic guitar, and adds backing vocals for good measure. A good note to leave on at any rate. Partially funded by fan sponsorships, this album is professionally done but loses none of the band’s live energy. Mixed partly by Hawk at his home studio, the album also features mixing from Pat Schneider of Stairway East Recording Studio in Manassas. He has a nice feel for the band’s style. The album was mastered by the legendary Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio in Austin, and that’s the icing on the cake. This is the best album I’ve heard in quite a few years. How are these guys not famous?!?! Regardless, you should get this one and appreciate the terrific songwriting and performances. Say what you will, but this band has the songs. That’s one thing in this whole package that doesn’t live in the gray areas; it’s a fact. -         Jason Miller ” - Jason Miller

Whisperin' & Hollerin' Music Blog

Andy Hawk has a way with words. The Loudoun-based singer is known for his versatile vocals and talented band, but for fans and fellow musicians, it’s Hawk’s songwriting that sets him apart. The former journalist and teacher-turned-high-school-librarian has a thriving local fan base and a busy performance schedule. And with a much-anticipated new record of original material slated for release this year, he and his band of Loudoun and Fairfax musicians may be on the verge of something bigger in 2015. Hawk and his band, the Train Wreck Endings, play Purcellville’s Franklin Park Arts Center Jan. 24. Hawk, who lives in Hamilton with his family, grew up in Pittsburgh and got a journalism degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After a post-college stint working retail in Boston, he was hired as a sportswriter for the Columbus Dispatch. While working as a journalist, he started to feel a pull toward the education field and began taking classes at Ohio State to earn a teaching degree. He moved to the Baltimore area and covered sports for the Baltimore Sun before officially making the switch to a career as a teacher in 1995. Hawk moved to Loudoun in 1997 and taught journalism and English at Loudoun County High School for 15 years. While teaching, he earned a master’s degree in Library Science and became the librarian at Potomac Falls High School in Sterling in 2012. Hawk, now 49, had been playing guitar and singing for decades, but was in his late 30s before he decided to make a full-on commitment to performing and recording. In the early 2000s, he set up a regular acoustic gig at the now-defunct Market Street Coffee in Leesburg. Through those shows, he met Chuck Bordelon, now the bassist for the band, who brought his brother Paul, who plays electric guitar, and drummer Pascal Nasta into the group. Hawk’s wife Marnie, a teacher at Blue Ridge Middle School, introduced him to her music-loving assistant principal Nancy Griffith-Cochran, now the band’s backing vocalist, and the full band was rolling. In the early days, as band members experimented with covers and getting to know each other’s musical styles, they often found themselves finishing a piece at different places. “We joked that it was a train wreck ending—like most of my relationships were—so we said let’s just call ourselves that and it kind of stuck,” Hawk said. The Train Wreck Endings released their first album, “Tin Can Town,” in 2009 and have since released four more records. They’ve also focused on playing out as much as possible. The band has a standing First Friday gig at King’s Tavern in Leesburg and regularly plays other venues in and around Loudoun. This group of “seasoned” musicians came together relatively late in life, but the collaboration is a joyful and energetic one. “We’re all older, obviously, but we all love it,” Hawk said. Hawk’s thoughtful, sometimes humorous, songs often have a philosophical or even literary bent (one critic compared his work to the road novels of Kerouac and Steinbeck). The group’s musical style defies categorization, though Hawk often uses the umbrella term Americana to describe the band. His vocals, intelligent songwriting and the group’s alt-country flair have drawn comparisons to iconic indie singer/songwriter Steve Earle, with plenty of blues, rock and other elements thrown in. The Bordelon brothers are south Louisiana natives and there’s often a New Orleans twist in the group’s repertoire. Hawk is the lyricist and main songwriter, but has collaborated with the Bordelons on the music for a number of the band’s songs. The band has built a solid local following through regular gigs. And in a band full of educators, Hawk has a strong fan base among students, former students and colleagues at both his former and current Loudoun high schools. The Franklin Park show is a fundraiser for the Blue Ridge Middle School PTO, which will receive half of the band’s proceeds. “They’re really supportive of it. I think they know that’s really what drives me,” he said. “It’s a great connection for some students, too, to know that teachers don’t necessarily go on the shelf on the weekends.” Hawk has developed a number of long-term music-based bonds with former students. Local multi-instrumentalist Chris Stoudt was a journalism student of Hawk’s and now regularly sits in with the Train Wreck Endings for live gigs and recordings. Hawk was voted faculty speaker at the LCHS class of 2004’s graduation ceremony, and instead of a speech, wrote and performed a song for graduates. The Train Wreck Endings played at that class’s 10th reunion last year, and Hawk is now finding himself invited to—and sometimes performing at—former students’ weddings. The band’s 2014 album “Shhh!!!” was recorded at the PFHS library in a single evening following a teacher workday. “Shhh!!!” was recently picked up by Pandora, a major break for the band. The band took another big step last year when members traveled to Austin, TX, to record with well-known producer Merel Bregante, who played drums for Loggins and Messina and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Hawk and Bregante connected a few years ago through a mutual friend and struck up an online friendship, with Bregante mixing tracks and giving advice on some of the band’s previous records. The band traveled to Austin last summer to record its latest album. Bregante is producing, recording, engineering and playing some percussion on the as-of-yet untitled album, slated for release this summer. Both Bregante and his wife Sarah Piece have also contributed backing vocals to the record. “I root for them because I believe in Andy,” Bregante said. “He’s a wordsmith, he’s a writer. His songs are well crafted, which I really appreciate. There’s humor in most all of them and couched within the humor there’s a whole bunch of intellect, and I love that….There are so many intangibles, so many things that are absolutely unquantifiable that play into success [but] I think they’ve got a damn good chance of becoming more than a local band.” While Hawk and his bandmates welcome success on a wider scale, and would jump at the right recording deal, they’re also happy with what they’ve achieved. And fame is not necessarily something they’ve sought out. “When I’m out in Austin and other places and you hear these bands with phenomenal players and good songs, the one thing I feel like we do have that helps us, I think we have the songs,” Hawk said. “Whether or not it goes beyond this level is almost out of our hands. We’re happy with our product and we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing.” ” - Jan Mercker

Leesburg Today

Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings – Another Storyline – a Winner! Group’s 7th Album Provides Perfect Soundtrack for a Fall Afternoon Much like the leaves turning every October, it seems that recently we can count on a yearly new release from Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings, and we can also count on the quality of the batch of songs they deliver. The latest offering – Another Storyline – is chock-full of styles and vibes that branch out from the band’s Americana roots without losing the collective essence of the project. It’s not as raucous an album as last year’s Another Roadside Attraction, but that’s quite all right, since Hawk’s songwriting seems to take a chunk of new territory each time out. This is an album to accompany you on a walk through the neighborhood on a sun-drenched, crisp fall afternoon as you chat up the locals and soak in the everyday beauty of an eccentric hometown block. “Baltimore” opens the jaunt with a driving pop drumbeat from Chris Huff and some brilliant 12-string acoustic guitar work from Steve DeVries. “I like to hear you walking on those city streets / makes me feel less alone” could be the album’s mantra: the bonds and comfort of community and familiarity. From there, we move into the straight blues of “Been Down So Long” (featuring nice lead guitar work from young Chris Stoudt), and then right into the title track, which introduces us to characters like Miss Maxine, Brother Muir, and Jimmy Carr in a wistful stroll down the block. Bassist Chuck Bordelon pulls double duty here, adding a guitar solo reminiscent of Rubber Soul-era Beatles. DeVries’ squeeze box accentuates the fragility of the track: “Leaves will fall and faces fade / and days, they run and run away…” “Allegheny River” comes next, and its sadness turns to hopefulness. Written with Ben Keay and based on Keay’s second novel, Dire Requisite, it’s set to accompany the digital copy of the book when it’s released next year. Shane Borders’ slide acoustic guitar and haunting Roger Waters-esque backing vocals make the track come alive. An Americana cover of “Temptation” follows. It’s a 1982 song by new wave band New Order (Hawk remembered Pittsburgh’s The Affordable Floors doing a rocked-out version of this in the late-‘80s and added it to his live shows – it fit so well that they decided to record it for the album). The dirty minor-key blues of “Mason-Dixon Line” give way to the beautiful “Prettier Song”, highlighted by the exquisite piano by Austin session pro Riley Osbourne. Hawk’s voice is hushed and raspy and makes you believe what he’s singing: “If I had a prettier song / then maybe I could be with you…” The kick-drum driven “Sunshine Street” gets us stomping and clapping, and pulls us out of the doldrums, and the little guitar/banjo ditty “Kick a Stone & Join the Dance” has us almost skipping down the same street. Hawk memorializes a friend whose overdose rocked him last winter with the eerie “Icicle in the Sun”, which utilizes the accordion to perfect effect again. Not wanting to end on a downer, the band goes out with the 6/8-time “Random Thoughts”, featuring Hawk’s recorded ukulele debut and another fine solo by Bordelon, and the bluesy “Lost My Radio” – co-written with DeVries – a matter-of-fact telling of a lost radio that appears to have been thrown out the window by the narrator’s (ex?)girlfriend. This final track sounds like a 1930s Mississippi blues hootenanny on someone’s back porch, record-scratch sounds included. Add a top-notch mixing and production job by former Loggins & Messina drummer Merel Bregante, and the mastering of the legendary Jerry Tubb, who’s worked with all the heavyweights, it seems, and you have an organic-sounding set of songs that stands up among the finest in Hawk’s extensive catalog. Simply put, this is a terrific album by a veteran songwriter and band that deserves a much wider audience than they have. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon, and at cdbaby.com, among others. November 25th, 2011. Album Reviews. ” - Sam Reed

Free Music Articles

   The familiar and likable sound of Andy Hawk and his Train Wreck Endings makes a welcome return in the form of this, the band’s third studio album. Managing to combine rockabilly, folk and blues in equal measure, all the ingredients that made their previous releases such a success are all here in abundance.    Hawk’s ever-so slightly flawed vocals are more than complemented by a band that sounds like it could have been plucked straight from Bourbon Street. The driving and thoughtful "Baltimore" opens proceedings before the heavy blues sound of " Been Down So Long" provides a chipper interlude, despite the dark theme.    "Another Storyline" has a summary feel to it with its toe-tapping chords and pleasant harmonies thanks to the backing vocals of Emma Rowley and the marching beat of "Sunshine Street" reaches a crescendo of guitar and mandolin as the song lives up to its positively named title.    Like most of Hawk’s work to date, It’s not all stomping anthems and sing-along lyrics. "Icicle in the Sun" mourns the passing of a good friend and is a fitting tribute.   With many bands that put themselves in the folk-rock and blues category the music can become samey and repetitive. This release, like the previous two, does a great job of stepping aside from the rest and illustrates what can be achieved thanks to some great songwriting and top-class musicianship. ” - Matthew Crist

Hubbub Music (UK)

“It’s Americana-ish!” is how Andy Hawk describes his latest studio effort with the Train Wreck Endings, and if you’ve heard any of their previous work you’d find it hard to put them into one specific category or genre too.  This, my friends, is a talented group of musicians that effortlessly blends folk, blues and rock into their own special brand of truly American music. In addition to a new set of original tunes, the soon to be released disc entitled Another Storyline also includes a rocking cover of New Order‘s “Temptation” that features a mandolin as a stand in for the synths….very nice. “Sunshine Street,” my favourite original track, starts with a punchy little bass line paired with the perfect drum cadence…add in some excellent vocal harmonies and, of course, more mandolin and you’ve got a cool little ditty. Froglix greatly appreciates Andy and company for allowing us a “sneak peek” at Another Storyline and would be remiss if we didn’t do a little pimpin’on their behalf by promoting their upcoming CD release party. When: Friday, November 11 @ 8pm Where: Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, VA. Be sure to check out www.andyhawk.com for details, tickets, etc. ” - Drago

Froglix Radio

Andy Hawk and the Train Wreck Endings - Another Roadside Attraction (BMI 2010)The spirit of the roadSix albums down the line and you get the feeling that Andy Hawk felt he needed a different angle on the straight down the line Americana that he does so well but was starting to stifle his creative juices. The result skips gently around a variety of styles while staying true to its roots. This is no small achievement and is achieved largely due to its subject matter - the great American road trip. To call this a concept album would be wide of the mark, what he does is take the listener on a captivating ride around the land of hope and glory.As the opener and title track kicks in Hawk's world-weary, seen-it-all voice hints at Ray Wylie Hubbard and Ramblin' Jack Elliot before levelling out to a mere two pack habit drawl. Some of his insights into life on the road are startling, backed up by the multi talented Steve DeVries on tracks like "New Orleans" and "Lipstick & Dynamite". Even the melodies and choice of instruments seem to emphasise every sentiment, such as the way the soaring slide guitar on "You Could Be My Lois Lane" echoes the man of steel.An all-American quality seeps through Hawk's production from the deep, gutsy acoustic and lead guitars that scream southern fried rawk-n-roll to the sax and mandolins that offer a more well-travelled vibe, the honky-tonk piano of "Wheel Like The Wind" and the Latin beats and flamenco arrangements as we are invited to Cuba on "Welcome To Havana, Mr Hemingway".Towards the end when Hawk arrives back in "My Old Hometown" in sombre mood and mourns, "The saddest smile I ever saw, It cracks your wanderlust to pocketfuls of dust", he has a brief identity crisis, before the irresistible "Blue Rendezvous" gets feet tapping mountain-style with DeVries' dobro taking centre stage.This album is a road trip taken on a roller-coaster, and every twist and turn is a thrill. The listener is invited to embark and arrive wherever they choose and on their own terms, but is left in no doubt that Another Roadside Attraction is all about the journey. Date review added:  Saturday, July 17, 2010Reviewer:  Tim MerricksReviewers Rating: 8 out of 10” - Tim Merricks

Americana UK

I’ve listened to all of Andy Hawk’s albums including his latest release entitled Another Roadside Attraction, which, if you’re counting is his 6th studio effort overall and his 2nd with the Train Wreck Endings.  All that music and I still can’t quite pin a genre on him.  Above I mention (3) possibilities but even they don’t quite capture the essence that is Andy Hawk.  Is “honest” a genre?  Because if it is, that’s the word I choose as it best describes not only this latest release but the entire Hawk discography. All songs tell stories and while some artists can rely solely on their music to tell their tale, others need to marry lyrics with melodies in order to effectively convey their message.  Andy Hawk uses both…but he doesn’t have to…and that, my friends, is what separates good song-writing from great song-writing. “My, My” blends contemporary rock with an upbeat alt-country feel and does so with a delivery that is fluid not forced while “Lipstick & Dynamite” has more of a Texas-blues/honky-tonk flava that makes for a very interesting contrast.  The piano accompaniment that starts off and carries through “Wheel Like the Wind” would bring a tear to Jerry Lee Lewis’ eye.  In fact I’m pretty sure that Steve Devries was channeling the Killer when he recorded that one!  As I listen to the righteous 60′s guitar riff paired with the steady rhythmic timbre of the drums in “Ghosts of Summer Sun” I can’t help but get the feeling that I should be chilling out on a beach somewhere right around sunset.  This is my point.  When you pop in this disc, each track will elicit a unique feeling/response that can only come from honest music performed by a gifted story-teller. Andy Hawk and Train Wreck Endings deliver another winner with Another Roadside Attraction. - Drago” - Drago

Froglix Radio

Following the barroom tales of Tin Can Town, Virginia’s Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings hit the road for their new release, embarking on something of a road trip for the senses. Another Roadside Attraction is described by Hawk as “a 12-song collection that feels like a car trip around the USA with stops along the way at some of the country's quirkiest freak shows.”  Hawk doesn’t describe his vehicle of choice but just listening to the music it would have to be a slightly aging Chevy with a throaty exhaust and more than the odd story to tell. As with his previous work, Hawk’s songs reflect the highs and lows of everyday life and this offering is no different with the mood rising up then dipping down before going up again, like a well-worn axel on a road riddled with pot holes. The record gets off to a flying start with the energetic sound of the album’s title track “Another Road Side Attraction”, with references to strippers on Highway 51, coolers, and meeting Elvis the monkey. Songs such as “My My” and “New Orleans” allow the journey to mosey gently round corners whilst the passengers recharge their batteries before the pedal hits the metal once more with “Lipstick and Dynamite”. Despite the quirkiness of the songs there is meaning behind each of them all sung with a superb razor blade like voice and the jazz, blues, folk sound only benefiting and being enhanced by the use of saxophone, electric guitar, piano and keyboards. If you are planning a road trip anytime soon this album should be on the list of essentials, along with the cooler and just ahead of the strippers. ” - Matthew Crist

Hubbub UK

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