EP REVIEW: Ethan Farmer - Wine & Strings (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"will make you dizzy – I’m serious"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist/Band: Ethan Farmer
Wine & Strings
Genre: Soul, Jam Band, Jazzy-Funk, Classic Rock
Sounds Like: Damen Tisdale, Stanly Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham, Weather Report
Ethan Farmer is a veteran of the music industry. After picking up the bass at the age of 5 Farmer became an unstoppable musical force having played with such acts as Janet Jackson, Lionel Rithie, Patti LaBelle, and Janet Jackson. His latest 7 song EP is entitled Wine & Strings released in 2013. Full CD due out later this Summer.
The CD kicks things off with “Introducing aka ebassman” an upbeat intro piece that serves up classic Fusion rock groove against slamming R&B guitar and driving rock rhythm. Track 2 “12” shifts gears with its smooth as silk flowing rhythm, heartfelt vocals and thought provoking musical layering from Farmer. Track 3 Showdown” is a sizzling melody that dishes out impressive rhythm section, sickening bass chops and well placed horns that peaks and valleys it’s way through to emotional fruition. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic Damen Tisdale, Stanly Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham, and Weather Report. The music itself is an impressive blend of Classic Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Psychedelic Jam Band and Funkadelick R&B. You definitely get an unmistakable bass guitar driven Psychedelic Funk-Rock vibe from the catalogue which all the Bass heads will die for. I get the impression Farmer and company are having a lot of fun just letting it all hang out with these songs. He’s definitely one of those guys that’s a whole lot of fun to listen to. The musicianship from Farmer and company is equally as impressive. I might add his bass splaying abilities go beyond human dishing out impressive chops, solos, and passionate and confident playing virtuoso of Farmer. You will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere, from impressive keyboard accents, Hammond Organ, impressive horns, Jazz Guitar, all behind a deadly rhythm scion. But the most impressive thing about this release besides the amazing 7 song line up is the musical personality you get from Farmer – PERIOD! From sickening ”Watch” to melodic “Beautiful” to intoxicating “Take Your Time” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 7 “Yikes” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
From start to finish Wine and Strings from Ethan Farmer is a barnburner of a release. Let me go on records to say it’s one of the best EP’s I’ve heard this year. The music is consistent, uplifting, and extremely fun and entertaining to check out. Some tracks will make you dizzy – I’m serious! Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak piece of music on this entire CD. The writing and playing abilities of Ethan Farmer are red hot. Last but not least Ethan Farmer is a masterful bassist guitarist, songwriter and overall musical personality. This is one band that’s not afraid to just let it all hang out musically. That’s what world class artists do the best!