Upshaw (Tri-State Blues, November '98)
Woogie" is the perfect title for Denis Farley's newest release.
Consisting of mainly original material that ranges from upbeat boogie
blues to slow folksey ballads, this CD will make you want to get
up and dance one minute, and then sit back and contemplate life
the next. Featuring a wide array of talented musicians such as Pete
Seeger and Calvin "Fuzz" Samuel, this effort reflects the many "moods"
of Denis Farley's music. The first two cuts on the CD, "Somebody
Else's Blues" and "Gal Rider" are upbeat blues tunes. The title
song, "Mood Swing Woogie" is a nice laid back instrumental piece
that showcases Farley's soulful harp playing as well as "Fuzz" Samuel
on Bass, Brantley Kearns on violin, and Harvey Mandel on guitar.
Another favorite, "Long Shadow" is a slow sexy blues tune. The second
half of the CD features more folk oriented selections. While "The
Pearl" is a very mellow ballad, ""A Wee Bit" is a very upbeat happy
folk tune that features Edgar Allen Poe IV on the Jaw Harp. "Love
the Years Away" is a lovely romantic tune and the final cut, "Sandy
Beach" rings pure Americana complete with an introduction by Pete
Seeger telling us to support our national parks and beaches. Focusing
on blues and folk music, "Mood Swing Woogie" is a CD with music
that reflects our roots and heritage and one artist's musical journey.
And it proves that Denis Farley is on the right track. - Sally Upshaw
(Tri-State Blues, November '98)
Farley: The Poetic Harp" --The Curry Coastal Pilot, OR 7/95
Growing up in New York City, Denis Faley learned
a few things about the back alleys of music, enough to know the
mainstream was a little one way for him.
Farley has gone from folk to blues to jazz to calypso, but he' settled
on an eclectic brand of blues and folk, a melding of harmonica and
poetry that would probably ring as true throught the streets of
Greenwigh Village as it will through Azalea Park Tuesday.
"I cut my teeth in Miami, but I abosrbed it in New York,"
Farley said of his music style. "I listened to AM radio incessantly."
Farley, who has played with blues legend John Lee Hooker and folk
legend Pete Seeger, said the folk influenece is still the most apparent.
He has also played many instruments, but harmonica is closest to
his heart. "It is a magical instrument for me," he said.
From the Label
WOOGIE, his third release for FLAT BAROQUE features a collection
of studio and live recordings spanning the years 1983 through 96.
With more than 50 musicians (see guest artists below) and vocalists
there are too many gold and platinum recording credits to mention,
not to mention a 1997 Grammy Winner. It is both an archive and sampler
of an artist riding the rails of necessity with the currency of
Guest Artists and side folks (band
- vocal, harmonica, percussion
Harvey Mandel - guitar (Canned
Heat, John Mayall, Charlie Musselwhite, etc.)
'Fuzz' Samuel - bass (Dr John, Taj Mahal,
Herbie Mann, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Stills, etc.)
Paul Harris - keyboards (B.B. King, Stephen
Stills, Dion, Al Kooper, etc.)
Brantley Kearns - violin (David Bromberg,
Dwight Yokum, Billy Joe Shaver, etc.)
Gregg Gerson - drums (Billy Idol, Joe Cocker,
Roger Daltry, Eric Burdon, etc.)
Brad Hauser - bass (Edie Brickell & New Bohemians,
Randy Ciarlante - drums (Levon Helm, The Band,
Jimmy Eppard - guitar (Levon Helm, the Band,
Memphis Pilgrims, etc.)
Mike Dunn - bass (Levon Helm, Crowmatix, etc.)
James Cruce - drums (J.J. Cale, Juke Logan,
Pete Seeger - vocals, banjo (Pete's been a
long time coming and he'll be a long time gone. If you don't know
what he's done for music on this planet besides winning multiple
gold and platinum awards for songs and recordings, than your in
for extensive and rewarding research. He won a Grammy in '97 for
his the album, Pete, was a member of the Almanac Singers with Lee
Hayes and Woody Guthrie and then helped found the incredible Weavers
(a "fluke" as Pete describes them) hitting the "big time." Blacklisted
by the McCarthy fiasco in the '50s he struggled back and turned
the corner in '67. President Clinton awarded him a Lifetime Achievement
Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. along with Kirk
Douglas and others a few years ago, etc.)
Victor Schwarz - guitar
Albert Williams - guitar
Howie Brown - B3 Organ
Kevin Hurley - guitar
Todd Giudice - guitar, vocal
and many more . . .
Release - Los
is the third release for Denis Farley on his home grown
label, Flat Baroque Records. 1988's PRYVIT BLEWZ received a "Best New Blues Recording" at the Florida
Panhandle 100,000 watt NPR Station, WUWF-FM 88.1, in May
of 1988. This inspired the flat baroque promotional team
to split their personalties more than they could possibly
afford and extend this regional perfidy to the growing
list of radio stations the insomniacs down in the research
department were sure existed somewhere just over the rainbow.
Naturally tracking this nightmare was the bane of all
possible conventional recreation and sometimes food (".
. . my how trim you're looking these days denis!") and
a boon to the local telephone company. Conversations with
strangers in remote 30 watt community stations could extend
to weather, the local bar scene and various places where
one might find a bed while hitchhiking . . . ummm, touring
through town. Despite this madness or perhaps as a direct
result, PRYVIT BLEWZ, received air plays (regular
play list additions) from Florida to Alaska and Europe
as well. The cut 'Hustler's Lament' from the album
was licensed to Mobile Records' juke compilation release
and has stayed in the top ten 'Street Beat' charts covering
that market since 1992. The CD is on its way to juke box
history of sorts, having already reached the 'classic'
stage at Mobile Records, which went belly up in the face
of all this success, and has reemerged as Memory Machine
Records under the umbrella of Harvey's Music in Pittsburgh,
PA . . . All this despite including ‘Hustler's Lament'
in the lineup, although the technicians at the pressing
plant were sure the disc was somehow "heavier" with its
it's anybody's guess what the future holds for this new
release. In ten years the game has changed dramatically.
With the aid of the new electronic publishing and distribution
systems available on the Internet, servicing both the
media and consumer, promotion and distribution are immediately
'International' in nature. Moodswing Woogie is a collection
of songs and players spanning a thirteen-year period -
from 1983 when the introduction to Sandy Beach was recorded
during a live performance with Pete Seeger at South Street
Pier in New York City, to the final mixes in the spring
of 1996 in Ashland, Oregon. More than fifty musicians
and singers participated at sessions in over six states
and as many studios. These journeyman tracks feature a
broad cross section of recognizable players and styles
with gold and platinum recording credits, as well as new
talent worthy of your attention. One of these days we'll
get some hot wax out there, in the meantime lookout for
a live show with denis and . . .