The Greenbeans - ‘a heady blend of Americana, Irish heritage and contemporary folk(June 11, 2014)
There’s no decaffeinated, diluted, alcohol-free, zero-calories here. This is raw, pure spirit, eyes-wide-open, pin back your ears, visceral music. It’s either going full throttle, tearing down the highway or on its more contemplative tracks leading you down shady country lanes. Whatever roads these songs travel, they are attention-grabbing. This is music from The Greenbeans, aka brothers Vinny and Joe Ferris. Their self-titled, debut full-length album delivers a rare blend of instantly catchy Americana hooks laid over strongly rooted Irish heritage brimming over with sparkling contemporary folk touches. And if that sounds like it’s innovative, fresh and engaging - that’s exactly what it is.
The brothers are unafraid to throw anything into the mix – folk essence or rock rhythms; horns, piano or tympani, plus stomps and claps. The result is an eclectic folk mix – it rips in with ‘Down The Road’, a track that lays out their Irish roots for all to hear, complete with the most infectious chorus I’ve heard in a while, it’s there once again with ‘All We want Is Love’, another tune to get audiences leaping about, no doubt about that. Then again, for those that love to reminisce there’s the pop-folk edge of the reflective ‘Girl From High School’ or the resigned recognition within ‘Sword In The Stone’ – all about wanting what you just can’t have: “You’re the sword in the stone and I’m wasting my time.” Great lyric image. The full-on band sound of ‘That Would Be So Nice’ just rocks its melodies into your head and stays there, while the soft echoes of love inside ‘Just Care About You Now’ deliver a faultless moving message.
Playing on the album with Vinny (vocals, guitar, mandolin, bells) and Joe (vocals, banjo, harmonica) across a selection of tracks are Kenny Siegal (electric bass, piano, organ, lap steel, tympani) Otto Hauser (drums, shakers, tambourines, percussion) Nina Violet (vocals, fiddle, strings) Gwen Snyder-Siegal (accordion) Marco Benevento (accordion) Terrence Murren (upright bass) and Dan Levine (horns). You can find them here: www.thegreenbeansmusic.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll