New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Big News! NJPAC has launched the 8th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition
Click here for the story!

CD REVIEW: U.S. Rails (4 Stars)

By Gary Wien


U.S. Rails is the new name for the former Philadelphia-based band 4 Way Street. Long-time fans will not be disappointed in the direction of the band as the debut by U.S. Rails may be even stronger than the lone record released by 4 Way Street. The "supergroup" of sorts continues to include Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin, Joseph Parsons, and Matt Muir and now adds Tom Gilliam to replace Jim Boggia. The pairing brings together a mix of great songwriters who all have very distinct vocal styles that compliment each other. The end result is a largely brilliant followup record that is sure to please long-time fans and make many new ones.

As with 4 Way Street, the sum is once again greater than its parts. U.S. Rails is an amazing group that clearly conjures up memories of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young through their wonderful harmonies and acoustic guitars. Band members once again rotate lead singer duties throughout the record and occasionally all take part as in the great opening tune, "Lucky Stars."

"Does anybody know how lucky we are?
Just bangin' on drums, strummin' our guitars
Just tryin' to have fun in some dark and dusty bar
In the morning, when I wake up
I thank my lucky stars"
-- Lucky Stars

The record steers a bit more towards country-rock than its pop-rock based predecessor. Songs like "Gonna Shine", "Good Times", "Burning Fire", and "Man Down" are closest to those found on the 4 Way Street record; while tunes like "Simple Plan" and "Shine The Light" have an almost ‘70s classic rock kind of feel.

Overall, it's an extremely strong disc that I recommend highly. In fact, it's probably one of my two or three favorite records of the year and a staple on my car stereo. If you were a fan of 4 Way Street, go ahead and pick up a copy, you won't be let down. If you've never heard of the former band, but are a fan of artists like CSN&Y or the Indigo Girls, you'll dig this too.

I think one of the reasons CSN&Y succeeded where others have failed is because their songs didn't sound forced; they sounded as if they were meant to be recorded that way -- the harmonies weren't a gimmick, but an integral part of the equation. The same thing is happening here. U.S. Rails is a bunch of long-time friends who realized one day that they could all add to each other's tunes and take them to a higher place. There's no denying that the band enjoys playing music together and is having fun. When that sort of thing happens, it's an amazing experience.

"These are the good times,
We drink to remember, we drink to forget
Yeah, the good times
And we ain't seen the best of them yet"

-- Good Times



For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates






Event calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2019


MUSIC

Believe: A Fundraiser Benefit for Marilyn's Place @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 4:00pm

Tash Sultana @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Will Martin Sings Dean Martin @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 3:00pm

MICHAEL BOLTON @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

Band Together for Veterans @ Bar Anticipation, Lake Como - 1:00pm

ART OF THE DOUBLE CONCERTO - NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 3:00pm

Carmina Burana New Jersey Youth Symphony 40th Anniversary Concert @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 3:00pm

Derek Bermel's Mango Suite @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 4:00pm

Laurie Berkner, Solo @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 3:00pm

Grace Morrison at Riverside!! @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm

The Bronx Wanderers @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 5:00pm and 8:00pm







THEATRE

Frost/Nixon @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Camelot @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 3:00pm

She Loves Me! @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 2:00pm

Morir Sonyando @ Passage Theatre Company, Trenton - 3:00pm

Rapunzel @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

MET Encore: Dialogues des Carmelites @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm


DANCE

Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella @ The College Of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater, Ewing - 2:00pm

Kick Dance Studios presents I LOVE the 90s @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


KIDS

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 2:00pm

Double Dare Live @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 7:00pm


SPIRITUAL

Transform Your Thoughts & Heal Yourself Spiritually @ 10 Colonial Court, Hainesport, NJ 08036, Hainesport - 1:30pm

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.