Daniel Tashian comes in loaded with a heavy background. His father, Barry, led one of the great ’60s bands, Boston’s Barry and the Remains. Even now, Barry and his wife Holly continue to record fine music in the country-folk vein.
But Daniel has staked out his own turf on this release. The only comparison I’m tempted to give is that, at times, he sounds like a more muscular Marshall Crenshaw. The songs, even though there are exotic touches, have a rootsy-pop feel that gets under your skin after repeated listenings.
T Bone Burnett proves to be the right choice as producer. While the ambiance his production adds is obvious, he’s smart enough to leave the crispness to the edge of this recording. The snare crackles, the guitars sing out from the first row, and the whole thing is led by Daniel’s vision and voice.
There’s also a maturity in the songwriting here that one doesn’t often find in a debut record. The songs come off as fully realized works rather than as snippets of ideas or clichés. From the yearning “Sweet Marie” to the bittersweet and cookin’ “Push Me Around”, and everything on either side of that range, this is a solid record and a welcome first effort.