Bronze Radio Return
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Bronze Radio Return

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana




"Press Release"

Bronze Radio Return To Release Self-Titled Debut

A collection of love, triumph, uncertainty and even a childhood experience, comprise the five vastly diverse tracks which make-up Bronze Radio Return's self-titled debut EP. The past few months of writing and recording have certainly managed to put many things into perspective for the young Hartford based band.

Collaborating with producer/engineer/musician Doug Derryberry (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds Five), was an eye-opening experience. Doug first approached the band after a well-received performance at The Bitter End in New York City. The buzz about the band caught his attention, and arrangements were quickly made to record some tracks together. After numerous late nights and a few overdub sessions in New York City, the band had the songs "Mirrors and Smoke" and "I Don't Wait Any More."

For more information, please visit - Michael J. Media

"Absolute Punk - Album Review"

Bronze Radio Return - Old Time Speaker
Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (08/07/09)
Bronze Radio Return - Old Time Speaker
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: June 23, 2009

There's a certain soul and grit in music that's hard to imitate and/or fake. Some musicians are just born with it. Ray LaMontagne has it. Damien Rice has it. My Morning Jacket has it. And the list goes on and on. Quite suprisingly, a Hartford, CT quintet named Bronze Radio Return also has it. On their debut full-length Old Time Speaker, the band offers acoustic-based laments on a broad range of subjects, from finding solace in nature, to the woes of digital technology.

Romance and heartbreak are tackled of course, but so too are subjects like wrestling with authority and confronting one's inner demons. The breadth of subject matter makes for a compelling and head-turning listen. The band is anchored by singer/songwriter Chris Henderson, who has spent the last few years performing in and around New England coffeehouses. His impassioned vocals are soulful and throaty and he's blessed with the ability to make simple and mundane songs, utterly captivating.

The best example of this is the crunchy, mid-tempo opener, "Lo Fi," which borrows a lot from Virginia's The Alternate Routes, but seems to step away from them in both lyrical material and the ample us of keys. On lead single, "Digital Love," Henderson unfolds an infectious saga about the influx of modern technology and sets the caper to a budding romance. This is a method that can most certainly fail, but with this band, that's the exact opposite of what happens. Beginning with a Jack Johnson-like groove, the song begins modestly before letting the organ and a surging rhythm section to take over.

Third track, "Its Okay Now" is playful and jumpy, possessing the kind of lightweight, freewheeling romp that has made Ben Harper a mainstream mainstay for the good part of the last two decades. One of the album's high points is the cerebral and slow-moving ballad "Strawberry Hill," a supple and warm meditation on the impact of nature to cure life's woes. Henderson lets his throaty vocals settle down and finds the lower half of his register and the results are nothing short of revelatory. Of all the ballads released so far this year, "Strawberry Hill," is arguably one of the best of that very deep stock.

On the punchy rocker "Play it On Me," Henderson and crew display a flair for kicking it up a notch, that calls to mind folk-rockers Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. On the heels of that, is "Wolves," the album's undeniable apex. Beginning with the lines, "Thick fog it hangs, it hangs in the air," "Wolves," rattles from the very beginning and never lets up. The building crescendo rises subtly through the first two minutes, until Henderson explodes and the song takes on a life all its own.

The acoustic sendup "Worth Wondering," is a light-hearted jaunt that serves mostly as filler but is so aurally engaging and catchy, it becomes far much more than that. On the gospel-tinged "Cannonball," the Nutmeg quintet throws it back to the 70s and revisits the ghost of Percy Sledge. Possessing more Hattiesburg than Hartford, more Biloxi than Bristol, "Cannonball," has a decidedly Southern bent that's brimming with soul and emotion. The country jangle of "Pullin' on the Reins," has a slap-happy shuffle despite its dark and dreary subject matter. The folksy vibe of "Reins," seems to hearken back to a different era, and that sentiment is something that seems to be the grand theme of Old Time Speaker. From the album title, to the struggles with technology on "Lo Fi," and "Digital Love," to the enchantment of "Strawberry Hill," Bronze Radio Return seem to draw on the soul and grit of rock music's heyday.

Produced by under-the-radar Oklahoman Chad Copelin, Old Time Speaker, is a delight from the very first note. That the band chose to work with Copelin is an interesting and noteworthy development. Having worked with Doug Deyberry (Dave Matthews, Bruce Hornsby) on their debut EP and managed by former singer/songwriter Rory Lowe (bassist Dan Travis used to play in Lowe's band) Bronze Radio Return certainly had their choice in picking a producer. That they went with someone under-the-radar and unknown is a true testament to their innate music ability. That simple fact, and knowing that their career decisions are in capable hands, makes the future of music that much brighter.
- Absolute Punk

"Live show review"

Two of the best roots-rock albums released this year are Will Hoge's The Wreckage and Bronze Radio Return's Old Time Speaker, and both visited New York City this past weekend.

Appearing last Thursday at the Bowery Ballroom Will Hoge and his three-piece band (drummer Sigurdur Birkis, bassist Adam Beard and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Devin Malone) performed a sterling set of 20 lullabies and rockers. Though he drew on a handful of songs from new album The Wreckage, Hoge also tackled much of his back catalog, including songs from 2001's Blackbird on a Lonely Wire ("Not That Cool," "Secondhand Heart," "Someone Else's Baby") as well as 2000's Carousel ("Ms. Williams"). This surprising tactic was not lost on the crowd, who seemed to sing along to each song from the minute Hoge stepped on the stage.

Highlights of the night included the sparse "The Wreckage," the sweetly affecting "Lover Tonight," and the forlorn heartache of "Dirty Little War," all three featuring Hoge an acoustic guitar and seated in a foldable chair. He even tackled the piano on "Too Late Too Soon," the closer off of The Wreckage, but the tactic appeared to be a misstep as the Nashville songwriter was buried at the back of the stage. Save for that one fumble, there was little about the set that was disappointing. Rousing rockers "Long Gone," and "Highway Wings," featured the same amount of tenacity as fiery cuts "Sex, Lies and Money," and "Better Off Now That You're Gone."

It's been well-documented since his major label debut Blackbird on a Lonely Wire, that Hoge bears the torch of heartland rock, passed on from the likes of Petty and Springsteen. A performer who always puts his all into every performance, his frenetic intensity is very much akin to Springsteen and his laid-back charm very reminiscent of Petty, making for two most accurate comparisons. While his studio performances are always engaging, there are few things as uplifting as seeing Hoge in concert. Ever charismatic Hoge charmed the crowd detailing his love of his New York; his appreciation to his newfound family at Rykodisc, and defended his Southern drawl and propensity to babble in between songs. Armed with gratitude, sincerity and humility, he was the consummate gentleman and was never pretentious or disaffected. Those three things, combined with contributions from Burkis, Ballard and Malone, made for one of the more spectacular sets of heartland rock this reviewer has seen in the past few years.

Set List 1. Just Like Me
2. Second-Hand Heart
3. Long Gone
4. Lover Tonight (acoustic)
5. The Wreckage (acoustic)
6. Ms. Williams
7. Favorite Waste of Time
8. Doesn't Have To Be That Way
9. Someone Else's Baby (acoustic)
10. Dirty Little War (acoustic)
11. Now That You're Gone
12. Highway Wings
13. Even if it Breaks Your Heart
14. Rock N' Roll Star
15. Sex Lies and Money
16. Too Late Too Soon (piano)
17. Not That Cool
18. Hard to Love
19. The Highway's Home


Three days later, Hartford, CT's Bronze Radio Return performed an hour-long set of Midwestern roots-rock, culled mostly from their album Old Time Speaker. Beginning with the groove-rock of "Lo-Fi," the band then dipped into 2007's "Shade Tonight." Expanding on the original version, the song featured an extended harmonica solo by Craig Struble, two organ flourishes from Matt Warner and a fiery guitar solo from Patrick Fetkowitz. Building on that momentum came the cheery pop of "Digital Love," with its radio-ready chorus and Henderson's smooth vocals. Never once out of synch, and utterly flawless, the Nutmeg sextet moved effortlessly from song to song.

The real apex of the set was the bouncy "It's Okay Now," which featured a 90 second five-drum assault, with each member banging various drums, cymbals and snares. The percussive intro was an effective and skilled tactic that proved the band's spontaneity and ability to deviate from the script. A dip back into another old song proved once again to be a chance for the band to showcase their inherent ability to jam. A request from the 50 plus fans in attendance to play one more song, brought the band out on stage for their country-pop sendup "Pullin' On The Reins," providing an effective punctuation mark on an overwhelmingly entertaining set of easy-to-please roots rock.

Though their name still remains below the surface, their set at the Mercury Lounge revealed that they are most certainly a band to contend with in the years to come. Armed with maturity beyond their years, Bronze Radio Return are truly on the precipice of something great.

Set List 1. Lo-Fi
2. ????
3. Digital Love
4. Wolves
5. It's Okay Now (featuring 90 second drum instrumental intro)
6. ??????
7. Play It One
8. Shade Tonight
9. Pullin' on the Reins - Absolute Punk

"Album Review"

The first half of Bronze Radio Return's full-length debut is an improvement on an EP the Hartford group released last year. The second half shows genuine promise.

Those songs, 6 through 10 on "Old Time Speaker," find the band relaxing into its strengths and forgetting about trying (too hard, as it turned out) to impress.

Once the musicians get past the impulse to ingratiate with displays of range or virtuosity -- urges that certainly fueled the wan stabs at suburbanite reggae on the self-titled EP -- they find a soulful groove that shows the beginnings of a compelling sound.

"Wolves" opens with acoustic guitar and double-tracked vocals from singer (and Hartt School alumnus) Chris Henderson, then blossoms to include a blend of electric guitar, piano, bass and drums. Jaunty electric piano propels "Pullin' on the Reins," and if Henderson's can't-get-ahead narrative follows a familiar formula, the raucous, rootsy rocker is no less catchy for it.

Although they're less settled, the first five songs on the album have their moments, too: The deep, knotty bass line on "Digital Love" anchors the tune like old-growth tree roots, and the jangling electric guitars on "Play It On Me" run pell-mell through the verse before tumbling into a glorious heap in the chorus.

Despite the self-conscious start, "Old Time Speaker" represents a significant step forward for a band with something to say and a growing sense of how best to say it.
- Hartford Courant

"Show Preview"

For such a young band, Bronze Radio
Return lays claim to an awfully mature, well-seasoned sound. Brandishing a soulful, bluesy and highly engaging brand of rock, this hard-working Hartford quintet has been making a lot of noise
outside of the Nutmeg state, with tour
dates currently on the books from
upstate New York all the way down to

Audiences aren’t the only ones taking
notice – the band collaborated with
well-regarded producer/engineer (and Bruce Hornsby sideman) Doug
Derryberry on their newly released self-titled EP. Derryberry helped craft
early releases for the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer,
Vertical Horizon and Ben Folds Five, so BRR must be doing something
right. Fans of DMB and Northeast favorite Ryan Montbleau won’t want to
miss a chance to catch these guys in their hometown bars before they
move on to bigger and better things. - Metromix


Bronze Radio Return - Bronze Radio Return - CD
(Bronze Radio Return) The vocals and music on this release remind me of an upbeat Dave Matthews with a slight raspiness to his voice. The songs have a slight big arena bluesy rock feel to them, with my favorite being the catchy "Shade Tonight". This is one of those CD's that starts off good and just gets better with each new listen.
-- Mite Mutant (2008) - The Chickenfish Speaks

"Bronze Radio Return CD Review"

Bronze Radio Return
Bronze Radio Return Independent

by Matthew Hoffman
Staff Writer

Bronze Radio Return Comments: A mix of Bruce Hornsby, Dave Matthews and The Counting Crows is the best way to describe the music on the new debut EP from blues rocker’s Bronze Radio Return.

It includes five spirited songs from the Hartford, Conn. based five. All five of the songs have style, substance and a real sincere “life” to them.

The band was approached after a performance at the Bitter End in New York City by the producer Doug Derryberry (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Bruce Hornsby, Vertical Horizon…) and after many weeks of hard work the tracks “Mirrors and Smoke” and “I Don’t Wait Anymore” were created. The other three songs were created over a year or so by the assistance of friends Rob Shaffer and Rob Murray (who Chris met at The Hartt School of Music) in a much more casual fashion.

The album starts off with “Mirrors and Smoke” and it is a quick bluesy rock cut with Chris’s sounding similar to Dave Matthews but with a touch more of an eclectic approach.

Up next is “If the Roof is Leaking” a fun almost ‘80s pop radio styled cut. Here the keys are used with an organ sounding approach and the guitars are crisp and clean.

The third song is “Don’t Wait Anymore” and sees Chris’s best performance on vocals. The track is slow and deliberate and he goes right to the fence between overdoing it and giving just enough of his heart. Also on this cool cut, Patrick plays a pretty blues rock guitar solo adding to the songs depth and quality.

“Shade Tonight” sounds like a Cajun spiced track with harmonica and cool piano sounding and clean guitar notes carrying it forward.

The caboose on this bluesy train is “The Truth.” This cut is a faster more “backwoodsy” track and has high “tinty” sounding drum beats provided by Rob. It sounds so authentic it’s as though five old “negro” friends in the Deep South (80 years ago) grabbed whatever instruments they could muster and started to play outside of an old dirty garage. Harmonica’s blazing; drum beats and a fun sung verse from Chris make this song into quite the toe-tapper.

The best thing about the album just may be the back-up vocals provided by virtually all the members, giving this record a deeper, funkier sound.

Though this mini-record lasts only 19 minutes it is a wonderful advertisement for the band. With their “feel” it shouldn’t be long till they will be signed to a major label.

This album will be available at Itunes Worldwide on March 18. Check it out.

Chris- Lead vocals, guitar
Patrick- Lead guitar
Dan- Bass, background vocals
Matt- Keys, background vocals
Rob- Drums, background vocals

Track Listing:
Mirrors and Smoke
If the Roof is Leaking
Don’t Wait Anymore
Shade Tonight
The Truth

Hardrock Haven rating: 8.1/10 - Hardrock Haven

"In Tune"

titled (self-released) ✰✰✰✰ — Fans of
the bluesy rock of Dave Matthews and Ryan Montbleau will get a kick out of Bronze Radio Return’s self-titled debut EP. This five-track collection showcases the fledgling band’s skills nicely and whets the appetite for their eventual full-length release. The Chris Henderson-fronted quartet from Hartford, Conn., makes undeniably catchy music, with keepers such as disc opener “Mirrors and Smoke,” “If the Roof Is Leaking,” “Shade
Tonight” and “The Truth” the best of the bunch. Weak link “Don’t Wait Any More” isn’t a bad tune, but pales in comparison to the rest of this dynamic little record. - The Daily News


Singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Henderson's group Bronze Radio Return sounds like a promising jam band on its debut EP. The music is that familiar blend of rock, blues, and country that dates back to the ‘60s and has been played in various mixtures by many earlier artists. More recent fans of the genre will be reminded of the Dave Matthews Band; older ones will think of the Elvin Bishop Group and may associate Henderson's gruff vocals with a slightly lower register Leo Sayer. The rhythm section is funky, and the guitars play tasty licks to support Henderson's melodic tunes, and although the tracks never break the five-minute barrier, it's easy to imagine that they could serve as vehicles for much longer jams onstage. - All Music Guide


From time to time I get some pleasant surprises doing these reviews. I
received Bronze Radio Return's self-titled 5 song EP a few weeks back. I don't publish reviews on the bad stuff I get and here lately I have been
getting my share. I don't know what I expected but when I finally got
around to listening, I was surprised, pleasantly surprised. This is a
very, very good band. I heard their music before I read their
propaganda. I would have guessed this music to be by an aged road
hardened band. These guys are real young, late teens and early twenties.
The sound defies a genre sticker to stick on them. It's rock, kind of
bluesy, it's rootsy, it's just damn good music. These guys will be
signed soon. - Planet Weekly


Bronze Radio Return (Self Titled Debut) March 2008

Old Time Speaker (2009)




There are some records that manage to span multiple eras of time and various places, in essence creating a new sonic space. New Englanders Bronze Radio Return have done just that on their sophomore album, the gorgeous and varied SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!. Contained within the space between notes and breaths are thousands of miles, and decades of history.

The roots of this travelogue-time capsule -- and the band that made it -- can be traced back to lead singer and guitarist Chris Henderson’s childhood. Spending hours on end in his father’s art studio, one of Henderson’s clearest, dearest memories is the large bronze radio, and the joyful noises he learned of there. “When the band started, we were looking for our direction, to see what this was going to be,” explains Henderson. “We came back to this idea of the return of the bronze radio, a return to some of those older, familiar sounds that all of us inherently grew up with.” The result is a forward-thinking retrospective of the sounds we all love, curated and created by Henderson, Rob Griffith (drums/vocals), Bob Tanen (bass/vocals), Matt Warner (keys, vocals), Craig Struble (harmonica/guitar), and Patrick Fetkowitz (guitar).

To write this record, Bronze Radio Return credits a few productive weeks of bouncing between the self-imposed exile of a remote Maine town, and the frenetic energy of their Hartford, Connecticut homebase. Those polarities informed much of the content of the record, from the examination of interpersonal relationships, to an individual’s interaction with the culture around them. “This album was a lot about working on what kind of process works best for us. When I write, I often write a melody and work on a progression in the form of a tune, which comes much more naturally when I’m doing my things here in Hartford. When it’s time to write lyrics, which take the most focus, I found that it was most effective to work in Maine,” says Henderson.

With an arsenal of song sketches in hand, Bronze Radio Return set to work to flesh out each of these songs. “Each member of BRR has a solid understanding of their instrument, and the role the instrument plays in the group,” stresses Henderson. “Everyone contributes ideas.” Formed in 2008, Bronze Radio Return’s line-up took a few years to solidify, though most of the band’s members were orbiting each other for years at the Hartt School, one of the country’s best schools of music, located in Hartford, Connecticut. For debut Old Time Speaker, the band relocated to Nashville for a two-week period, to, as Henderson puts it “a place we’d never been with a producer we’d never met, and played a bunch of songs we’d never played before.” For such an inauspicious set of circumstances, the band managed a solid and well-received debut, and forged a lasting bond with producer Chad Copelin. Old Time Speaker established the band’s relentless touring schedule, including an invitation to represent the Connecticut music scene by performing for President Obama at an event in Bridgeport, CT in 2010. Fan favorites “Digital Love” and “Lo-Fi” have been picked up for advertising and television licensing and the album landed on CMJ’s Top 200 Album Chart.

For SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!, the band reunited with Copelin on his home turf in Norman, Oklahoma, a location Henderson credits with having a profound effect on the album. There, the band learned firsthand the truism of the Mid-Western friendliness. Local acquaintances would stop in daily with a kind word and a new instrument to lend. “Most of the instruments played on this record were lent to us from the community,” says Henderson.

Indeed, the warmth of their environs makes its way onto the album. Lush harmonies are steeped in soulful vocals, and guitars that alternate between the blues age and the most interesting innovations of the modern. Album opener “Down There” has all the warmth and wisdom of a barroom sing-along, a slightly sepia-sounding portrait of the importance of good people. “Sell It To You” is a self-aware look at the culture of consumerism, which Henderson acknowledges as ironic. “Whether you’re watching a movie that has product placement, or driving down a street and see 11 million billboards for something -- everybody’s trying to sell something to you. And, so are we -- we’re trying to sell our album to you. [This song is about] internalizing what all that means.” The title track, “SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!” builds from subtle handclaps and foot-stomps, and as crackling guitar lines spread out, Henderson illuminates the performer’s perspective. “There’s always this moment near the beginning of a set where everybody is standing around. It just takes one outgoing dude, or a tipsy couple, and they just start moving. You can see two or three more people going, and then as the set progresses, more and more people start to move.”

The album’s namesake is telling, as there’s a transmission contained therein, as well as the mission of the band that’s translat