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"Review of Drew's"

Having played for a decade in bands like Cobalt Blu, Manhattan on the Rocks, and Lot 49, Drew Maher’s first solo effort, “Selling 2-Dollar Bills for a Dollar,” marks not so much a departure as a realization of a musical vision that’s been potently brewing for a while. From the first line of the first track, “Options,” the album’s course is established with a quiet authority. “Let me tell you how it went down,” Drew begins, but as the song erupts a minute in, it becomes evident that our inside-man is also more than willing to let us inside. But this is not just another confessional jaunt. Though the songs touch on betrayal, loss of faith, illusions, and the fragile, unaccounted-for twists in relationships, there is a cool and modest clarity at the center of every reckoning. Songs like “DMA” and the upbeat “Saturday” revel in innocence and its memory, in love and buddydom beating back broken communication and fear, while “Tomorrow” and “Hello” offer hope in the face of strained reality, wavering faith, and social confusion.

Through all of this, the songs are neither heavy nor didactic. The real strength is of course in the music itself, each track maintaining its individual character while contributing to the feel and movement of the larger volume. The architecture of each song is solid and layered, the vocals showing a breadth in style, range, and even language—especially in the Spanish (and French embellished) “Por Que Te Quieres Decir” and the albums sincere and earnest exclamation point “Ya es la Una.” Often shifting drastically in mood and tempo between verse and chorus, the eruptions still feel deliberate rather than abrupt. Throughout are hints of Depeche Mode and the Cure (especially in the darker “Dine Alone” and “Room on the Moon,” of the Dismemberment Plan, Mike Patton, and a little hip-hop, but these comparisons are left behind readily as the songs compound and layer, each part, no matter how small, earning its place in the larger sonic landscape. Perhaps most impressive is that all of this comes from the effort and sweat of one man, a guitar, and a keyboard (with nods to former band-mates Darren Crimmins, Jeff McKee, and Brandon Wallace who pitched in parts on “DMA”). There’s a fullness to “Selling 2-Dollar Bills for a Dollar” that one might not expect from a solo songwriter, but, as the album continually reminds us, faith and perseverance mixed with hope, experience, and a bit of clarity go a long way when forging a path of one’s own, and Drew is well on his way.

- Aaron Leis of The Porch


Cobalt Blu--You Know You're Hungry(LP)--1996
Cobalt Blu--Soundtrack to a Robbery(LP)--1997
Cobalt Blu--Your Best Excuse(LP)--1999
Cobalt Blu--Irreconcilible Differences(EP)--2000
Manhattan on the Rocks--Innocence and Expeirence(LP)--2001
Manhattan on the Rocks--Red Army(EP)--2002
Lot 49--Music for Smart People(EP)--2003
Drew--Selling 2-Dollar Bills for a Dollar(LP)--2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


After spending the better part of a decade playing in various bands (Cobalt Blu, Manhattan on the Rocks, Lot 49) around the Denton/Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Drew Maher is now a solo artist. Fresh off of playing a major label showcase, Drew is embracing a new avenue for his musical career. His music is a blend of eclectic influences including Bjork, The Postal Service, Travis Morrison, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor. Drew has made 6 full-length albums and 5 Eps and is thus no stranger to the studio. He is also no stranger to the stage. Over the years he has played with a variety of musical set ups; somewhere around 150 live performances in all.

Another twist that Drew throws in, is the fact that he speaks and sings in Spanish, as well as bit of French, making him one of the most versatile songwriters that you are going to come across. Along with his Yamaha Motif 6 keyboard, Drew is a complete songwriting package. Starting with pre-recording the drums, bass, "bells and whistles", he also writes and performs live, all vocal and guitar parts for his unique blend of songs. By combining English, Spanish, French, experience and solid songwriting ability, Drew Maher provides something for everyone. Whether it be an average radio listener or an avant-garde critic, everyone will come away with something worthwhile.