Comanchero
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Comanchero

Waltham, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Waltham, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Americana

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"UK Album Review - The Undeserved"

Though based in Boston, the five-piece Comanchero’s music is steeped in Southern rock and Americana with nods towards the Allmans, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and even the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

This is their third album and is a hotch-potch of musical styles that hangs together remarkably well. They open with Jimmy Carter, a retro allusion that could lend itself to the likes of Confederate Railroad or Sawyer Brown while not swaying too left of contemporary. There’s a slight reggae rhythm to Any Day with a plaintive lead vocal and pleasant guitar work, whilst the jaunty One Foot In The Grave is straight country without the twang out of the NGDB’s songbook.

On the sweeping Fall In Line or the rural rocker Whiskey, they hit the bull’s eye and there’s more great country to be heard on Cold And Lonely Night, a chugging ode to lost love—complemented beautifully by the playing of violinist Laurence Scudder. For listeners that enjoy classic Southern and country-rock, be sure to check out Comanchero’s THE UNDESERVED … you’ll not be disappointed. - Maverick Magazine


"Album Review - The Undeserved"

Comanchero rock right out on their third CD The Undeserved. This band creates its own hard rocking sound by blending elements of country and funk into their rootsie approach. They take a serious path to reach serious listeners, but they can also play the role of a fun bar band.

The guitars are thick and fulsome. The rhythm section serves up a steady thump in each number. Vocalists belt with gusto on each track. Comanchero is drummer Greg Moon, bass player Andrew Kramer, guitarist-harpist Sam Margolis, lead guitarist Bob Moon, and percussionist-vocalist Jim Levin. Greg Moon and Andrew Kramer are also multi-instrumentalists who bring banjo and mandolin. Sam Margolis and Greg Moon switch back and forth on lead vocal duties.

Their opening song “Jimmy Carter” is a humorous take on all those Habit For Humanity homes the former president builds for the less fortunate. At once country and funky, it’s just a blast to listen to, barreling forward with edgy country rock guitar and vocals peppered with grit, soul, and verve. The guitar phase here balances carefully in the styles of funk and country and rock.

“Any Day” uses funky guitar riffs, groove oriented bass, and soulful sax to support a chirpy vocal approach usually found in country. It’s uncanny how these guys can suddenly shift gears into country rhythms and make it sound cool. “One Foot In The Grave” is a shuffling two step with a fiddle melody winding its way around a bouncy beat.

The vocals on all of these tunes are infused with true country grit. There is total sincerity in the delivery, and it gives their music a country-southern rock authenticity, as if they have lived what their songs are all about.

“Fall In Line” features a really cool guitar line that makes the guitar sound like it’s singing to you. The chorus has that grabby harmony sound over a bumpy rhythm section that cries out for radio play. The beat is almost reggae and it actually works well in this country-funk outfit, as the strong musical personalities involved here can bend any genre to their wills.

Comanchero pull a 180 and go into the beer drinking country drawl “The Other Side Of Town,” a honky tonk number driven by a slow affable rhythm section. The vocals here are almost southern accented as they take their sweet time describing their serious interest in beverages. Laced with perky, pretty pedal steel and clarinet, this one will have you daydreaming about local watering holes. “Whiskey” pulls you into this band’s driving blues-rock side. Mean style harmonica honking blazes a path for the knobby bass playing of Andrew Kramer and the hefty chord work of guitarist Bob Moon. It’s like a good bar band discovered a potion to make them famous, real talent looming large from a group of guys who don’t take themselves too seriously.

“Cold And Lonely Night” is another shuffling two step driven piece of country niftiness. The contrast between the speedy rhythms and the easeful vocals and guitars, fiddle, and mandolin is striking. Clever melodies dart in and out over the groove and it’s a real hoedown inside the barn tonight. “Red,” driven by palpable, knobby bass lines, churns out a funky beat and funk guitar riffs. Yet, the vocal and lead guitar rest comfortable in a healthy country vein, another clever method this outfit uses to create their own music out of diverse roots influences.

Comanchero can be as earthy as a decent bar band. There is no pretension on “Reign Dance,” a hefty chunk of grinding guitar, throbbing bass, and hefty drum support a pensive singer. Rhythm guitar fills in a lot of the space and that gives the tune more meat and meaningfulness. But you can party to this music as well as listen to it cruising down the highway. “Hard To Breathe” is chockfull of heavy low end runs and slithering guitar lines. The humming rhythm guitar creates its own momentum of oomph while the lead singer belts with a smooth southern charm.

Their textured song “When You Look” builds into a mesmerizing sound with atmospheric lead guitar conjuring the old west and nimbly picked mandolin notes making you feel speedy. The vocalist coos over a haunting landscape and makes you feel the sense of forlorn hope as destiny spreads its wings and takes you on its own flight.

Comanchero invited several top notch players into their den to help record this disc: Wendell Simonson helped write “Whiskey” and Marty Lynch played bass on “Cold And Lonely Night.” Laurence Scudder played viola. Noel Coakley added pedal steel. Ross Mazer brought his saxophones and clarinet. Chris Doig played lead guitar on “When You Look.” Zachary Francis tinkled a Rhodes on a few tracks. Scott Levine played lead guitar on “Fall In Line.” Mike Mooney, Mac Stine, and Andrew Zdyb sang backing vocals on “Fall In Line.”

Title track “Undeserved” closes out the CD with its cherry oak solid rhythmic underpinnings and banjo flavored melody line. This Comanchero CD has an action-packed quality with all of its thick rhyt - Bill Copeland News


"Comanchero Selected As One of Boston's Top Local Bands"

Local music. Even the descriptor "local" sounds trite. We picked 12 bands who sound bigger than Boston to highlight in this year's issue. It's not just that they play a certain style or use computer programs to make like they are from the future. Indeed, they're all quite different. They're simply bands we can expect big things from.

And, it turns out, they are all playing the Harpoon Summer Session, too. Wink.

When we were asked to recruit the lineup to play Harpoon's seasonal beer fest, we thought: "Why the hell isn't there a local festival that highlights all the great bands we've got here?" Since the demise of NEMO, the rise and fall of NEST and other acronymic gatherings, there has yet to emerge one hoopla of hoop, one mongoconcert, one local feature-fest.

So we made one. This Friday night and all day Saturday, on both indoor and outdoor stages, these bands will strut their stuff—everything from the precocious You Can Be a Wesley to the visceral rock of Hydra Head's Clouds. "Our favorite beer is whatever's free," writes Clouds' Michael Quartulli in response to our email survey, "today our favorite beer is Harpoon." Reports' Ben Macri also chimes in: "These days our favorite beer is Harpoon Summer. Now where is my free case of beer?" And, yes, Sam Margolis of Comanchero says his favorite beer is Harpoon IPA. "It makes us feel good and play inspiring music."

Gratuitous sponsorship references aside, there's nothing but love for Boston among the bands we've picked. Particularly for its hometown team. Dan Burke of Viva Viva proclaims Kevin Youkilis to be "the Mike Vallely of baseball," Quartulli says his favorite Red Sox player is Jacoby Ellsbury, "he's so hawt," while Macri attests "no one ever worked harder for this town than Brian Daubach." Not to be outdone, Nate Donmoyer of The Peasantry says he prefers "Coco Crisp. Delicious."

"Is there really any other show on TV worth watching other than the Red Sox?" asks Margolis. Most of the other bands said yes. Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos watches Fawlty Towers religiously, Viva Viva prefers Lost, Joe Gonzales of Retrosleeper and Martin Pavlinic of the Reports both watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Chris Pappas of Everyday Visuals goes to bat for Mystery Science Theater 3000, "God rest its soul." The Peasantry goes with Batman. "We named our touring van Barbara Gordon."

The most revealing were the bands' rider preferences, those requests performers make before a show in order to have the proper amount of, um, inspiration backstage. What, if anything, would they want on their rider? "An extensive raw bar coupled with various wines and liquors," says Angelakos. Pappas would like "a crowd watching us." Nick Zampiello of Campaign for Real-Time asks for "a Japanese-themed urn full of Percocets." The Peasantry gets decadent with "a hot tub and eight 30-packs of PBR and some books on tape." Nick Curran of You Can Be a Wesley gets whimsical. "A fog machine and bubbles, anything that could put meaning to the term 'Sway-core.'" Clouds are purely logical: "$1,000,000,000,000.00 cash."

Other band stats are highlighted below in our dandy trading cards. For more live input, hit the brewery this weekend for music powered by the Dig. Since we'll be running around manning shit, we're obligated not to drink, but don't worry about us. The music will be intoxicating enough. - The Weekly Dig (Boston)


"Americana Nueva - Album Review"

When you hear Vibra-slap in the first 15 seconds of a local disc, you know you're headed into deep waters. Comanchero take us in way over our heads. Intelligent lyrics and slick production lace the arrangements and tie the mando, banjo and 3-part harmonies together with bailing wire. The disc struggles with its own identity, though, pitting a more rootsy edge against its funkier side. When they play it gritty, the band recalls the twangier sound of the '70s (think America). When they get groovy, well, things start jammin' (think jammin'). [ALAN LEVESQUE - The Weekly Dig (Boston)


"Comanchero Featured in the "Daily Dig" - January 2011"

When it comes to the jam-rock circuit, there's these guys. Five accomplished but very different dudes uniting under the groove. Nevermind the songcraft, passion and heart these dudes put into the tunes, take one look at their live stage plot and it's understood they mean business. - The Weekly Dig (Boston)


"Live Review from New England Americana Festival"

Comanchero: Another first for me, and the perfect closer for Thursday night. I may as well just throw it out there: if you’re in a band that throws a mix of roots, rock and exceptional male vocals into your mix, I can guarantee you that I’ll give you a listen, probably like it and be impressed when you keep a venue full just before close on a Thursday night. The details are a little hazy as I was helping Mikey break down the photobooth around this time, but I walked away from Night 1 of the New England Americana Festival with a mental reminder to catch up with Comanchero in the future. - The Weekly Dig (Boston)


"Song Review"

Comanchero - "Light Bulb”
Ah, the light bulb. Usually synonymous with bright ideas (get it? bright ideas?). Did they have light bulbs back in the old sepia-toned days? I am not sure. But then again, this is the future, baby. Comanchero does their duty and brings the folk-tones to the present day in "Light Bulb," a bright, bouncy number that keeps its wits about itself with a frenetic banjo and a bumping drum beat.

When we step back a bit, we realize that the wild rickety-rackety instrumentation is working out a familiar figure - the good old I-V-IV. The amalgamation of timeless guitar chord with old time sounds creates a fairly interesting place for "Light Bulb" to sit and do its stuff. A thoroughly modern guitar solo sets the time warp spinning even faster, and we find ourselves able to live with a foot planted in both eras - just like our friends in Comanchero. - Boston Band Crush


"Relix"

"Comanchero's country-funk thunder melds a rambling jam sensibility with genuine boot-stomping twang. Shades of Widespread Panic, Cake, and Wilco in these feverish Cactus Rock rhythms." - Relix Magazine


"Comanchero EP Review"

"The songs on this disc combine roots music with poetry, sensible pop melody, New Orleans grooves and take into account lightness as a credible influence as bands such as Phish and Wilco have done.

I love the sparsness of the record. There's tons of space for the lyric to sit comfortably and the harmonies of Sam and Greg's voices together are amazing." - Luke Reynolds, (Guster)


"Live Review"

"Comanchero takes the stage and tears it up like old pros with their brand of self proclaimed 'Cactus Rock.' Drummer/ vocalist Greg Moon has the crowd under his thumb with some high octane vocals and high tempo fills. There’s a slick blend of country, pop, and rock but it’s the twangy numbers that really get people on the dance floor doing the old two-step."
-Kier Byrnes
Three Day Threshold & The Noise - The Noise (Boston)


"Comanchero Album Review"

Comanchero describes their sound as “Country Funk Punk” and “Sexy Hick Music.” Whether this was a goal they set out to meet, or a style that just evolved, there is hardly a better description. Comanchero opens with “Radiator Coming,” a funky, twangy track with definite hick influence (what other demographic would sing about their radiators?). The sound morphs throughout the album from a sweet melody with prominent lyrics in “Two Lanes,” to rambling electric guitar and slick tempo changes in “Cordoba.” They don’t commit to one formula, but always stay safely within the bounds of their self-determined genre.

The vocals have a rootsy, tinny, far-off quality on some tracks, yet on others meld lyrics, melody, harmony, and rhythm into a cohesive whole. Comanchero has forged a record that alternately soothes and rocks. Despite some raunchy Hendrix-esque guitar, they aren’t afraid to show a softer side. The quartet features two guitars, bass, and drums, all utilized to hone their honest, no-nonsense sound. Their grassroots vocals are engaging atop the minimal productions that highlight a clear instrumental tone. Comanchero is a testament to the band’s synergy, tight and carefully engineered. (Licensed to Horse Fuel Records)

-April Wachtel
http://www.performermag.com/nep.recrevs.php - Performer Magazine


"Jane's Marketplace Music"

"I was pleasantly surprised when my father popped in the Comanchero CD. Alt-Country Rock Folk melodies combine with great hooks and catchy lyrics to create a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. I played a bit of 'Two Lanes' today--a great pick me up to end the show"

--Jane Linholm, Marketplace Director & Associate Producer, National Public Radio - npr.org


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Since 2003, Comanchero has crafted an Americana sound that combines old traditions with new, Country with Rock, Bluegrass with Blues, Honky Tonk with Funk, and Roots with Rockabilly. While unique in their own sound, there is something strikingly familiar in Comancheros songs that weave influences ranging from Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, to todays contemporaries such as CAKE, Wilco, and Mumford & Sons.

Soulful and edgy, heartbreaking and heart making, Comancheros third release, The Undeserved will stay in your ears for a long time to come. Bostons Americana Jam Band takes us through our human landscape of hope and despair, the good times and our lost ways.

This band has deservedly found its way. Comanchero sings us to where weve been and where we need to go. Listen to the driving drums and true voice of Greg Moon. Hear the unique licks of his brother, lead guitarist, Bob. And be taken by the sound and voice of rhythm guitar front man, Sam Margolis, all strongly supported by bassist Andrew Kramer and percussionist Jim Levin.

Youll hear how they know theres something in our heartache, when we lose faith in our national leaders, and when personal love breaks down. When Comanchero sings, Oh, you cant go home again, its the home in their music youll find, their house youll want to find yourself in, room by room, track by track.

Having played hundreds of shows together, Comanchero travels far and wide from Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, FL to the Great Falls Hot Air Balloon Festival in Auburn, ME. From clubs, to theaters, to pavilions, to colleges & universities, the band continues to push the boundaries of their live performances and consistently shares the stage with nationally touring artists such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, ZZ Top, Passion Pit, The Yardbirds, Southern Culture on the Skids, Cowboy Mouth, The David Wax Museum, and Girls, Guns, and Glory.

The stage energy, combined with carefully crafted songs and precise execution distinguish Comanchero as one of the rising Americana & jam-influenced bands on the East Coast. The bands sound is edgy, tangible, eclectic, and totally danceable. As Jane Lindholm, Director and Associate Producer at National Public Radio observed: "Alt-Country Folk Rock melodies combine with great hooks and catchy lyrics to create a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience."

Band Members