New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu

Makin Waves Record of the Week: "Local Honey" by Brian Fallon

By Bob Makin

originally published: 03/25/2020

Makin Waves Record of the Week: "Local Honey" by Brian Fallon

After two solo albums on Island Records, Gaslight Anthem front man Brian Fallon has opted to drop his latest LP, “Local Honey,” on his own Lesser Known Records. For the Point Pleasant-based, Red Bank-raised singer-songwriter, the results are as sweet as they are cathartic. A gorgeously packaged collection, the eight servings of “Local Honey” once again recall Brian’s greatest influence: fellow Jersey Shore rocker Bruce Springsteen. But rather than emulate the youthful zeal of the Boss’ iconic ’70s catalog, Brian sounds like the Bruce of today: world-weary and wise. 

I don’t know if the youngest of Gaslight Anthem’s punk-adoring fans will appreciate it, but Fallon’s deeply personal glimpse into his everyday world reveals universal truths, hard-earned insights and unflinching honesty. Then again, we’ve all had to grow immensely lately, so maybe they will.

Released at a time of global upheaval, the mellow, sparse, often depressing outing -- surprisingly sparingly produced by Grammy winner Peter Katis (The National, Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol) -- offers the kind of catharsis the blues provided World War II and soul music sounded throughout the civil rights movement to those who could relate either by race or open-mindedness. The collection opens with “When You're Ready,” a salute to fatherhood, specifically in honor of Brian’s 7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. Next up is one of the best of the eight tracks, “21 Days,” a soulful chronicle of kicking nicotine guised as a breakup song. 

The genuine breakup song, “Vincent,” is a Springsteen-like short story set in Texas about a woman named Jolene who hates the famous Dolly Parton song that shares her name and misses her long-lost boyfriend, whose name inspired the title of the track. “Hard Feelings” also chronicles heartache as a story song about a troubled pair of partners in crime trying to find refuge in New York City.

Brian balances some of the darkest elements of the album with three beautiful ballads that muse on how life’s hardship can pack less of a punch when you’re in the arms of a special person. While social distancing from everyone but themselves, otherwise happy couples will relate to “I Don’t Mind (If I’m With You),” “Lonely for You Only” and “You Have Stolen My Heart.” Harmonious parents of families quarantined together will feel the same about the album’s many references to those bonds. 

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

The best track on “Local Honey” is the latest single, “Horses,” which equates the beauty and strength of the beloved animal with the kind of faith and hope it takes make a relationship as strong as it is beautiful. I love this song because it also best expresses Brian’s faith in Jesus and family (he dedicates “Local Honey” to both). And the deeply Irish-rooted balladeer does so with a slight Celtic tinge.

“Horses” is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. You can hear the track 30 times at 5 and 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and midnight daily through Wednesday on and  6:45 p.m. on Friday and Monday on the station’s “Radio Jersey” show. 

Brian was supposed to be on tour right now with his band, the Howling Weather, that was to include a two-night stand at his hometown venue, the Count Basie Theatre, but the virus crisis nixed the remainder of the schedule. Hopefully, it will be made up soon … and safely.


Makin Waves Record of the Week: "Local Honey" by Brian Fallon


Bob Makin is a reporter for and the former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him via email. And like Makin Waves on Facebook.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info




Lee Brice: Me & My Guitar

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 8:00pm
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: music

Click here for full description

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

Friday, February 23, 2024 @ 8:00pm
Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
category: music

Click here for full description

Growin’ Up: An Evening of Two One-Act Musical Memoirs with Matt Butler and Mike Montali

Friday, February 23, 2024 @ 8:00pm
Outpost In The Burbs
40 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042
category: music

Click here for full description

Click here for more events

Listings are available for $10 and included with our banner ad packages.

Click here for more info.



Newton Theatre hosts The Last Waltz Celebration featuring The THE BAND Band & Special Guests

(NEWTON, NJ) -- The Newton Theatre presents The Last Waltz Celebration featuring The THE BAND Band and special guests on Friday, May 24, 2024 at 8:00pm. They will bring to life one of the most historic concerts of the rock era.

New Jersey Symphony Presents Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony

Westminster Conservatory Faculty Recital Series to present two free children's concerts on Sunday

Woodbridge Township presents Screaming Orphans at The Avenel Performing Arts Center

Click here for more event previews

New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!

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.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy