Folkworld online magazine (www.folkworld.de) Der in Baltimore ansässige Singer-Songwriter Geoffrey Welchman nennt die Beatles als sein größtes Vorbild. Mit „One Man Band“ hat der folkrocky Bluesmusiker, wie er sich selbst bezeichnet, sein zweites Album aufgenommen.
Welchman spielt alle Instrumente (Gitarren, Bass, Schlagzeug und Keyboards) selbst, ebenso wie auch die mehrstimmigen Gesänge alle von ihm stammen und die zwölf rhythmisch, melodiösen Songs sind Eigenkompositionen; eine echte one man band.
Abwechslungsreich präsentiert sich das Album, genau so wie es Welchman bei den Beatles immer bewundert hat. Die CD beginnt mit „The Trial“ und großartigem Gesang rhythmisch begleitet von der Gitarre. Die Texte sind teilweise zynisch wie bei dem bluesigen „Crowd Control“. „Unforgiven“ klingt dann beinahe unverschämt nach den Beatles, angefangen von den Gitarren über den Rhythmus bis zu den Gesängen. Die Klänge des Cembalos leiten mein Lieblingslied ein, „Hildegard“, das der deutschen Komponistin Hildegard von Bingen gewidmet ist. Es ist ein wunderschönes, melodiöses Lied mit Chorgesang und großartigem Gitarrespiel. „Out on the Road“ schließlich ist ein echter Blues.
Welchman ist ein begabter Musiker und Liedermacher mit einer schönen Singstimme. Bewundernswert ist vor allem, dass er alles im Alleingang aufgenommen hat, ein sicherlich schwieriges Unterfangen.
Maverick Magazine (UK), Album Reviews, May 2008 4½ (out of 5 stars)
Fantastically quirky collection of original material, best described as folk-rocky blues, from a singer-songwriter who certainly believes in doing things differently
Former writer for such magazines as Rolling Stone and the New Yorker, Geoffrey Welchman and this superb release have really blown my socks off. With this fine collection of twelve original compositions he has thrown the rulebook straight out of the window.
To start with he plays all the instruments, bass, guitar, keyboards and even learnt to play the drums so he didn’t have to bring in a session player. He also uses several effects and samples to create one of the most unusual and exciting releases I have ever had the privilege of reviewing.
This isn’t a traditional singer songwriter album, oh no, here we have music influenced by such diverse artistes as the Beatles, Marvin Gaye and trip-hop band Moloko. He even cites an album of music by the 15th century Nun and composer Hildegard von Bingen; I did state it was unusual.
The album opens with The Trial,the song opening with a sample taken from a courtroom session and then the opening acoustic guitar chords lead us into a false sense of security. Geoffrey has that unique knack of weaving words and stringing them together, complete with multi-layered harmonies, all making sense but not in the conventional form and when backed by his funky, almost bluesy guitar style what we get is a snapshot of life through the eyes and ears of a truly original artiste. Crowd Control starts with an electro, glam; 1970s beat backing the acoustic guitar and then builds to become one of the most memorable highlights on the album, both musically and lyrically. Take the line ‘"Weapons of mass destruction, cheeseburger and fries, blow up a whole nation, change the system from inside"’ words of wit and intellectualism are to the fore and Geoffrey delivers us a songwriting master class.
On several of the tracks I was reminded of acts such as Squeeze and that quintessential English band of pop experimentalists, the sadly now defunct XTC, especially on tracks such as Hard To Know and Here, My Dear, intelligent, original, pop, prog-rock are all words that come to mind. This album, repackaged and released by a major label would be massive here in the UK.
One of the most inspired tracks Hildegard starts with a beautiful harpsichord intro leading us into a gorgeous tribute to the above-mentioned German composer, odd but quite commercial, this track also showcasing the mastery of the guitar that Geoffrey Welchman possesses. Commercial is perhaps an unusual statement to make of such a unique release, but that is what it is. ONE BAND MAN crosses many musical genres and has wide appeal, not easy listening, but simply an album to listen to. Highly recommended! JHS
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, CD Reviews, Feb 19, 2008 "There is a seductive quality to the music here that pulled me back and pulled me in to listen closer....First, Mr. Welchman is a remarkable multi-instrumental musician as well as being a facile and versatile vocalist.
Much of the material employs a musical irony with the generally light pop musical mood masking the frequently more serious lyric. The opening track, The Trial, exemplifies this. The great music structure that moves the tune along through various passages tends to lighten the emotional angst that underpins the lyrics.
I find most of the album like this. The lightness of the music buoys more serious thoughts so that the listener is not overwhelmed with the subject matter. The lyrics never go deep enough to be depressing but are pitched at just the right level so you can either think about what he is saying or bounce along with the catchy melodies.
One of the fun things about listening to this effort is trying to pull apart all the different influences and musical references that abound. So far I've heard elements that remind me of Jethro Tull, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Costello and even Frank Kafka. All these influences are artfully combined to present a sound palette that seems to span decades; from '60s psychedelic to '90s light rock."
Americana UK webzine, CD Reviews, Jan. 29, 2008 (7 out of 10) "If Geoffrey Welchman had set out to make an album that would please everyone, he wouldn’t have made One Band Man. It’s an intelligent, though-provoking album but it’s also about as far from an easy listen as it’s possible to get.
And rather paradoxically he’s achieved that feat by staying true to a simple philosophy, A songwriter writes his songs and then the singer sings them, it’s almost incidental that they happen to be the same person. In between the process is horn of uneccessary performance, at it’s root One Band Man is 12 great songs. But within that framework Welchman weaves some magical moments, Crowd Control for one has sharp lyrical teeth, it’s deconstruction of modern life is as caustic as anything offered by more celebrated writers.
One Band Man is also an album devoid of flow. Fender Bender is quirky, Is It Okay plaintive and down to earth while Right Before My Eyes explodes into life. If you’re looking for a central theme you’re out of luck. In reality Geffrey Welchman and One Band Man should bring to mind other songs and singers, it should be easy to identify a host of influences, but it’s not. Everything is skewed just enough to make it unique."
RadioIndy.com, Jan 2008 "One Band Man" is filled with lyrics, licks, and lessons of life that reflect the abounding talents of Geoffrey Welchman. In keeping with historical trend-makers, Welchman shows us the path of bluesy, contemporary music, as he echoes past, present and future sentiment in this well-put together package. The musicianship on the CD is impressive, especially considering that Geoffrey performed all of the instruments himself. The production is very clean with some interesting effects.
The highlight of the CD, however, is the songwriting, which combines interesting and sometimes unpredictable chord progressions with clever and well thought-out lyrics. One of our favorite tracks, "Unforgiven" is an adult rock track filled with raw emotion that blends electric guitar licks with beautiful self-harmonies. "Fender Bender" begins with some interesting effects that fade into a catchy bass line that provides a very cool groove for this track. This CD is well worth a listen to hear some of the creative songwriting and impressive musicianship of one talented person!" (Terri D., Manny V, and RadioIndy.com)
Whisperin' and Hollerin'.com, Jan 2008 (5 stars) "WELCHMAN'S strengths are in his guitar playing and his voice....His funky acoustic guitar playing has a fluency and tautness that sets up a mood for sharply observed man-of-the-people songs. The damped chords and occasional solo runs sound simple, but make a lot of demands on technique. It’s sound that harks back to the early 1970s (the name Jim Croce comes to mind). A bit bluesy, a bit folksy, and varied enough to keep the album moving along very nicely.
WELCHMAN's voice has real panache too. He sings with a blues edge on a fairly strong tenor voice that can make the words stand out and keep a tune rolling."
New-Noise.net Webzine, Nov 16, 2007 "..Welchman's second album, a follow up to 2001's well received 'Comfort Noise'...There is a very 60s each-song-must-sound-different feel throughout that works to hold your attention--there is a trippy song, a classical tune, and Beatles-esque pop by the bucketload....literate poppy folk.."
Music Monthly, August 2007, Regional Reviews "The Trial and this CD holds court with an instant judgement of lyrical and vocal authority. Geoffrey Welchman is an intelligent, confident musician at work. Crowd Control reinforces the authority with its lyrcial excellence and fine production: vocal, effect, and miking choices . . "
"Truth, and good harmonies.....Here, there, and everywhere the instruments, arrangements, and placements in the mix mark a deep intelligence and taste--sometimes surprising, always approaching perfection."
"Generally, each song is unique, highly creative, and non-formulaic. Geoffrey Welchman is multitalented: a fine writer, player of all instruments, singer, and arranger, a "One Band Man," indeed. The recording, mixing, and mastering, for the most part are superb. This is one of the best truly solo albums since Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything. An accomplishment for a local lad."
Radio Voce Spazio DJ Massimo Ferro (Highway 61), July 2007 ".. an interesting and original album.."
WCVF-FM DJ Tom Bingham (General Eclectic), June 2007 "Crowd Control" named "Protest Song of the Week"
COMFORT NOISE Reviews Allzah.com, January 2004 "..Comfort Noise may be the most perfectly named collection I've ever heard...Everything about Welchman is warm and comfortable. His voice is clear and light, his guitar assured and clean...His music reveals the sensibilities of a craftsman—each piece is as sturdy as a ladderback chair, built of time-honored materials with a minimum of frills...this is fun music."
Music Monthly, April 2002, Regional Reviews "..The album consists of ten cuts comprising nothing more than Geoffrey's voice and guitar. Yet there's a rich intimacy that carries these tunes and makes them memorable...Comfort Noise is a delightful CD...it takes a lot of confidence to put out an album this stripped and still have it sound this good. Strong melodic songs always will be in style and GW has those in spades!"
Robyn Shanti, host of "The Dharma Wheel" on KBOO-FM Geoffrey Welchman is a unique talent. His songs are crafted with care and his performance comes from the heart. These are songs that resonate for our times.
Decca, host of "At the Café Bohemian", KZSU radio It's so refreshing to find music that is not only well-performed, but also interesting, thought-provoking, and well-written..."Comfort Noise" is relaxed, endearing, and completely no-frills. Welchman's warm vocals and acoustic guitar work are both strong, but it is his lyrics that I feel are the true star of this CD. Among my favorites are "Freddie's Lament" (think Scooby-Doo) and "Pterodactyl" (a charming, child-like fairytale set to music). Through it all watch for imaginative rhymes, great visual images, and an impressive use of wordplay. Overall the songs range from a non-traditional folk sound, through to the blues and more edgy rock-based tracks...this is good music.
Music Monthly – 10/01 ...his guitar and voice meld. It works and has the power to hit you deep. Do your mind a favor and pick up this record.