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Band Rock Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


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more earthly designs is the first collection from honeyflood. The concept for the CD originated in Charlottesville with McCarthy and Goldberg, a singer-songwriter duo for over five years. They challenged each other to a formal songwriting duel and the writing began, with Spanish Moss and Sleeping in a Silo, written in the heart of a mild winter while each of them was traveling separately around the country, arriving soon after. Pretty soon they were playing out at local Charlottesville, and then Washington, D.C., venues.

The rest of the tunes came along at unpredictable intervals. Some were written in Charlottesville, but others, including New Mexico, Smoking, and Last Best Thing, were developed in Washington. Lighthouse was written on the beach on the West Coast of Florida. The inspiration, both musically and lyrically, varies quite a bit from song to song. Many of the tunes, including Beach's anti-ballad/jam that closes out the album, attempt to take on the strange and thornier stuff of relationships. But there’s other stuff in there too. Lighthouse and Smoking are really about leaning on the people you can count on in tough times, Ashes & Dust is an ode to individual triumph over adverse social circumstances, while Spanish Moss is as close as we come to a political song.

The addition of Shanker, McGee, and Beach in 2002 helped translate the songs from acoustic pieces into rich, fully instrumented tunes without losing the personal, written-on-the-corner-of-the-bed feel that many of them have.. The CD was completely self-produced, recorded, mixed and mastered in Washington, D.C. by honeyflood in 2002. more earthly designs is not contained in a jewel box, but in an eco-friendly cardboard package containing eight panels of phenomenal graphics, colors, and all the lyrics, as well as a little soft spot that holds the CD. The only plastic is the CD itself and the wrapper, unless you count that little soft spot as plastic.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Give us a piano. An acoustic guitar. Fold in a naked, earnest vocal, a seductive undercurrent, a subtly explosive drumline, and let us go. Let's come right out and say it: unlike most of what's being churned through alternative radio stations today, there isn't an electric guitar within miles of this band. We usually don't scream. And we hardly ever blow an amp.

But we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves – there is a Gibson Epiphone next to the classical guitar and phonebook in the mixdown room/kitchen. And Ian’s using his electric bass, at least until the broken upright gets repaired. But there aren’t any electric six-strings on more earthly designs, and we don’t use any when we play live - we kind of dig it that way. It leaves us a little more, well, exposed.

honeyflood plays acoustic progressive rock -- artful but not obscure, melodic but not saccharine, rhythmic but never mindless. Stripped down, the acoustic elements of the music, explained by a group of musicians with their roots in classical and jazz but influenced by many forms, create (we hope) something a bit different - music just a little left of modern rock that retains its soul, complexity and accessibility. You'll hear everything from uptempo tunes with resonating hooks to evocative, intimate pieces tinged with hope to soaring anthem jams – as if Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Ben Folds, the Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, and Natalie Merchant had a few beers and collaborated on the score of an IMAX film.

And of course we want you to hear and feel all that when you listen. But we know it’s a tall order. So, we really just hope you’ll check it out and like something about it, something little or something big -- even if you can’t imagine yourself scaling some peak, or flying above the clouds, or driving down a highway in New Mexico.