We spend a lot of ink on the up-and-coming local musicians, sometimes forgetting about the legions of older, more experienced musicians. Bo Reynolds and Carl Ventis are two older and wiser artists that have just released new albums. Both have been on the scene for a while. Both have released albums for one simple reason: the love of music. So while they may not be contenders for Teen Choice Awards anytime soon, they have managed to produce albums that showcase their musical knowledge and dedication.
Reynolds moved to Central Oregon in 2005 and is known for his work as a solo artist as well as his work with other local artists, but he may be best known as part of busy local band Little Fish along with Deb Yager, Scott Benedict and Mike Team. Reynolds released his latest CD Cascade DeVille this year and the album is bursting with the Americana folk style he is known for. Cascade DeVille is chock-full of Reynolds' acoustic strumming and his clear, concise vocal stylings. What makes Reynolds' album admirable is that each track is somewhat of a surprise. Yes, Americana music is meant to be the blending of country, blues and rock 'n' roll, but Cascade DeVille seems to alternate between each genre separately and still create a cohesive-sounding finished product. The album starts off with an easy alt-country tune and is followed by "Primetime in Prineville," containing mandolin, harmonica and sounds like it could be straight off of the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack (minus the saw playing). The next song on the album "I'll Cry Like This" has a blues-based chord progression (and some falsetto that could make Justin Timberlake envious) and is followed by "The Smile She's Giving You," which has a definite rock n' roll edge. Towards the end of the album, the song "Cascade Hops" provides listeners with a complete beer lesson guaranteed to end with a craving for a pint of whatever's on tap at the nearest brewery. Bo Reynolds provides his listeners with a song for every mood and speaks to Oregon's coastal towns, Cascade Mountains, microbrews and Central Oregon's small communities.
A Day In The Sun
Carl Ventis moved to Bend in 1996 and, until recently, was best known for being part of the local cover band The Reputations and as a guitar and bass instructor at Wall Street Guitar. With the release of Ventis' debut album, A Day In The Sun, those other two recognitions will mostly likely be taking a backseat to his budding career as the frontman for Ventis, which is comprised of himself, Blaine Bowden, Daryl Henderson and Joe Plass. Many of Ventis' songs reference faith and God, but this album is by no means a Christian sing-a-long. Ventis stays true to his musical influences, such as the The Beatles, Toto and Bruce Springsteen, and produces an interesting and uplifting rock album that fans will no doubt appreciate. Whether it's the album's unbelievably catchy title track, the guitar-driven "Rock and Roll Lady", the twangy folk rock "Train Song" or the acoustic and soft song "Paper," we're sure that any album that starts off with a mention of "Purple Haze" and the phrase "good love and hard times" is all but guaranteed not to disappoint anyone who enjoys the likes of Bruce Springsteen or John Cougar Mellencamp (before the truck ads started anyway).