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"Radiocraft makes powerhouse debut"

Every so often, a pleasant surprise lands on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. The latest case study is Radiocraft's "In Stereo," a dozen-track collection that covers all the bases: hooks, strong playing, smart arrangements, evocative lyrics, solid production, heartfelt vocals. All in abundant supply.

Radiocraft has been together, in various guises, for several years, but "In Stereo" is the band's debut release. Produced by Dave Feeny at Ferndale's Tempermill Studios, the album starts with some shimmering mid-America roots rock and winds its way to a dusky blues finale. Vocalist Suzie Ferro and guitarist Kevin Breslin are the band's core -- the primary songwriters and the musical soul. Ferro has just enough scratch in her voice to give the sound a rock punch, but she's flexible enough to apply restraint at all the appropriate moments.

Standout tracks include an early stretch that includes the pop-toned "Wasting It All," the soaring rocker "Mercy Cup" and "The Diner Song," which takes on a '70s feel -- complete with a glimpse of ELO harmonies and strings on the chorus. Wonderfully sculpted tunes from a band that deserves notice.

By Brian McCollum,
Detroit Free Press pop music critic - Brian McCollum

"Review of Radiocraft's ''IN STEREO''"

The Praise...
In the years I've spent reviewing home-grown independent music, I've heard CD's that have stretched the boundaries of production quality and musical craftsmanship. I've heard CD's that cost nearly nothing to produce (and sound like it) to full-blown productions that, despite their glittery exteriors, fail to produce one exceptional song.
So rarely do the elements of songwriting ability, performance, arrangement, lyrical depth and production quality come together on the highest level in the independent world (I can think of three in as many years) that, what is taken for granted in the corporate music biz where productions can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, becomes a triumph worthy of special attention at a fraction of the cost.
Such is the triumph of Radiocraft's brilliant debut "IN STEREO". Suzie Ferro, Ronnie Alcini, Danny Alcini, Kevin Breslin, Ken Williams and producer David Feeny have used time (five years) and patience to produce a debut that I can only call a "Mass-terpiece" for local audiences, if not the world. Great Songs. Great Production, Great Recording (The Tempermill did it again.) and Great Performances by the bandmembers and various cameos worthy of mention: David Gunthner on piano, David Press on drums and Producer Dave Feeny on pedal steel. Strings: Sean Smith on cello, Anita Margariti on violins and Nenad Djordjevic on viola - arranged by Steve Taylor.

"Just Like Crossing Over...."
Though their music has been self-described as alt/country/twang, I'm beginning to feel that sub-genre fragmentation is no more than a necessary excuse for good musicians to write great songs that appeal to adults. "IN STEREO" is acoustically tinged rock that transcends the murky boundaries and the micro-market of the alt/country niche. It harkens back to the days when all sub-genres of rock found a home on the same radio station - not just those that appeal to the youth culture quip of the moment.
Like their counterparts from Dearborn, The Wrenfields, Radiocraft have successfully bridged the gap between Rock and the "C-Word" the way The Eagles brought you to the deserts of the southwest by way of California. But as both bands have proven, it's not the only route by which you can cross-over to mass-appeal. On every track, Radiocraft and Producer David Feeny have done what's right for the song, regardless of genre; they rock when they need to rock, down-shift and unplug when appropriate or pitch pop references altogether and swing-in some light jazz, as in the closing track, "Wine in The Morning."

So Is it Alt/Country or Not?
Sure, there's enough alt/country or Americana or Roots or whatever the hell you want to call it to pigeonhole the band if you must; There's hints of Cowboy Junkies in "Doublewide" and "The Diner Song" and the lyrical phrasing of "Wasting it All" couldn't be classified as anything else but alt/country. Suzie Ferro's soulful rasp (which sorta reminds me of Kim Carnes but with more passion - listen to track 2 "Soldier's Fortune") is well suited to to the newly-hip sub-genre. But Radiocraft is just as likely to lean towards Heart (track 7&8) or ELO (track 5) as they are Jayhawks and Wilco (for lack of more accurate alt/country references). Even in slower numbers like "Days End" Ferro handles the melody much more like rock matriarch Ann Wilson than alt/country's poster-girl Lucinda Williams. Whatever the label, tag, genre or categorization, any record that compels me to sing out loud in my vehicle more than twice in a single listen is pure magic as far as I'm concerned.

So where's the Punch?
Though Radiocraft's promo package was impressive (e.g. the CD came wrapped in a personalized cover of textured card-stock that was really beautiful and they included a pre-cut Rolodex¨ card which I think is a great idea. I used it within a week.), there was a slight disconnect between the cover art and the music. My expectation, before I ever heard a note, was that the music might be dark and as technologically bent as the cover image. So I was a bit surprised that the leading track began with a bright acoustic guitar (even though there's a bed of sequenced retro-futuristic drums beneath). This is a minor consideration based entirely on a preconception. Fact is, had I been shopping for indie releases without having any idea of what I was buying, I would still have been hooked by Suzie Ferro's dismal but intriguing cover art (that's right, the singer did the cover art to save the band money ). So even "the punch" is coated with sugar. The only other complaint I have is that I've played the CD so many times it's beginning to mis-cue!

Magic Moments IN STEREO
At the risk of gushing-on with this saccharine review (hey, if it's great I want to tell everyone), I feel it incumbent upon me to make you aware of at least three or four songs worthy of any top-ten list that recognizes M.O.R. pop. That's not to say that the other eight or nine tracks are merely the fil - Mitch Phillips

"The Craft of Twin Guitared Alt-Rock"

Masterminded back in '95 when guitarist Kevin Breslin blended heads with night-maned singer Suzie Ferro, Detroit band Radiocraft was born with the addition of second guitarist Ronnie Alcini, his brother, drummer Danny, and Kenny Williams on bass, all veteran Motor City musicians. The result is twangy alt-rock with an unplugged/ acoustic flava running through it. Ferro, whose voice haunts of Patti Smyth meets Melissa Etheridge, rasps out folky lyrics like "What will be left to shock us/that wasn't done already?/And now it comes down to the boundaries you defy/while we the people become desensitized" from 'Beautiful Ones.' The song is about the aftermath of 9/11 and is featured on the band's debut album, 'In Stereo.' Radiocraft does just what their name says: They craft radio-friendly hum-along songs that don't try too hard to be genre-trendy or ultra-commercial. They're a Levi's rock band, writing straight-up songs from the heart that you could easily hear somewhere along Route 66 or in a Midwestern juke joint.

AOL Weekender

** Radiocraft correction...
None of the songs on ÒIN STEREOÓ were written about September 11th. - C.J. BAHNSEN

"Radiocraft [In Stereo]"

Radiocraft is one of those bands that just needs to be famous. Heard all over the airwaves. They're so cohesive their notes are like superglue. And tight? Absolutely, but elastic enough to breathe. Energy. Great harmonies and what could be called a joyfully sinister mood. Rock with a tiny bit of twang.

But, alas and alack, according to the bio sheet (which is very positive, by the way), their fame spreads not much farther than their home base in Michigan. What gives? This CD sounds nothing like a debut, but it is. And what more appropriate title than "In Stereo" for a band (equally cleverly-named) called Radiocraft.

Leading the way for this alt/rock group is Suzie Ferro, who sounds born for this kind of music. Her powerful, soaring vocals hint of Kim Carnes' grit but are much prettier. Suzie is great whether belting it out on "Soldiers Fortune" or easing up (or should we say down) on the more sultry "Diner Song." And she shows us both sides on "Doublewide."

Joining her are some very talented musicians in their own right. Ken Williams' bass grumbles and rumbles right along with the energetic and dead-center pounding of David Press' drums to form one rock-solid rhythm section. Kevin Breslin and Ronnie Alcini team up for excellent electric guitar work while David Gunthner adds his skills on piano and keyboard.

By far the finest tunes on this CD are the first three. They define the band's identity and give it that radio friendly sound so many groups aspire to and so few achieve. The soaring, sweeping and huge sounds of "Beautiful Ones," "Soldier's Fortune" and "Wasting it All" nearly stop the listener from moving on to the other nine tunes, but curiosity will get the upper hand.

Lyrically, every tune -- all originals -- is a keeper. There's a particularly interesting one called "Wine in the Morning" (the last cut, co-written by Suzie and Kevin) that reads, in part:
"Call it liquor, alcohol, booze, hooch -- doesn't matter, whatever you say - Zinfandel, Chablis... I ponder the subject, at 2 hours past noon, as I burn my toast for breakfast. Mama would say, have a little wine, child... I only wanna make my mama happy, so I'll start with a choice rose... Man cannot live on bread alone -- I didn't write it... But I won't fight it."

With insightful lyrics, a tight band and a great lead vocalist, Radiocraft's very name sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

- Les Reynolds,
- Les Reynolds


- In Stereo - released January 2003
- RED - released January 2005
- (forthcoming EP - Spring of 2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


RADIOCRAFT brings the balls and the ballads, serving up a mix of AC-DC riffage and love-gone wrong bewailing. There are songs with punch, songs with bitter chord progressions and others with Pat Benatar-esque piss and vinegar. - SA, Real Detroit Weekly

The buzz surrounding Radiocraft started in 2002, along with the release of their debut, In Stereo. Recorded by award-winning producer, David Feeny (Blanche), In Stereo was hailed by fans and critics alike as a rare find among indie offerings and Radiocraft found a permanent place as one of Detroit's more notable bands. Shortly thereafter, they expanded on the melodic refrains and smart guitar work that originally put them on the map and enlisted the aid of rock veteran, songwriter and producer Michael Lutz (Brownsville Station, Ted Nugent Band) to help turn up the gain for the self released 2005 sophomore record, RED. Once again, garnering rave reviews from DJs, critics and fans in both the US and Europe, word quickly spread, catching the attention of European rock zines and indie labels and landing the band in various supporting slots for nationals such as Seether, Saliva and Dark New Day. All along, the efforts of both releases were rewarded with a total of eleven Detroit Music Award Nominations in four consecutive years, 2002-2005. But the challenge now would be to do it one better

In the summer of 2006, RED snagged the ear of famed, Grammy-nominated producer, Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Nickleback, 3 Doors Down, Bon Jovi, etc). Just three months later, the band found themselves in Seattle, WA, at the legendary London Bridge Studios, beginning work on their forthcoming EP - this time with Mr. Parashar at the producerÕs helm. Bigger, Better and Badder were the collective aspirations for the new recordings - and they have achieved it well.

Still with a grand nod to our 70Õs rock forefathers, but with fatter guitars & a bit more Ôtude, this release will prove their best effort yet. This Spring of 2007 will find Radiocraft poised and ready to reacquaint the nation with what Detroit was known for long before Rap music...great Rock n Roll.