War Poets
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War Poets

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Adult Contemporary

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Dec
09
War Poets @ Minneapolis Holiday Market

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN

Nov
22
War Poets @ Knickerbockers

Lincoln, NE

Lincoln, NE

Nov
21
War Poets @ Latitude 44

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls, SD

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The Minnesota based pop-rock band, War Poets, pull no punches when it comes to their music and socially relevant lyrics. Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Rex Haberman is the band’s primary creative force, and is joined by bassist, vocalist, and co-writer, Jenny Case to create a male-female dynamic that is also a hallmark of War Poets’ sound. While their style is distinctively all their own, they’ve been compared to some fantastic bands like The Replacements, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and such modern day poets as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. On their 2014 EP American Police State, Haberman continues to live up to this high praise through a five song salvo that impresses as much as it entertains.

“Better Place” opens the EP with an astoundingly catchy piece that finds Haberman singing about not knowing where the titular better place may be, but realizing the need to find it and hoping someone will show the way to it. The guitar riff that powers the rhythm is instantly accessible thanks to its polished pop sound and rock edge. It helps that everything around it also has an edge, from the strong slap of the drums to the propulsive bass line. More than anything though, the chorus has a stellar hook to it; brought out and highlighted by the backing vocals from Case.

Going in a much stronger rock direction, “Closing In” opens with a riff that hammers away like something Neil Young would’ve crafted; quick and raw. The relentlessly driving nature of the performance is the bedrock for the rest of the amazing musicianship that gets layered on top of that solid guitar. The rhythm section is as constantly driving as Haberman’s guitar, complete with quick, powerful drum fills and a rapidly thumping bassline. Additions like the keyboards that highlight the instrumental break add an extra bit of flair and even in all the sound that’s already there, they still manage to come through nicely. Lyrically it’s an interesting piece that blends a sense of confinement with what could be paranoia, or given the title of the EP, a legitimate sense of people and society closing in.

“8:05 On A Saturday Night’ is easily the most distinctive piece here, largely because of its much more direct handling of its subject matter, but also because of its rap section that it transitions into. Haberman carries the first half of the song on the weight of his Dylan-esque, gravelly delivery, and lyric about violent influences in society. The music itself builds and evolves as the track rolls along, starting with a softer tone from the guitar but layering on more and more instrumentation including keyboards, backing vocals, and a horn section. The second half of the song continues this build but switches over to a male and female rap delivery with far more flow than a pop-rock group should be able to muster.

Switching back into rock mode, “Where Has Love Gone” brings another strong riff to the table and again draws out similar performances in the band as a whole. The guitars rip and so do the bass and drums. However, a little something extra is thrown in with some stellar saxophone playing. Unlike the song prior where it sneaks up on you in the mix, here it’s more pronounced and dynamic, and the song is stronger for it. Compare this to the EP’s closer, “Red Lake” that doesn’t have this kind of extra flair and is less memorable because of it. However, there is a stellar solo from Haberman that once again displays a mixture of finesse and raw power that would make Neil Young jealous.

War Poets accomplish quite a bit within a matter of five songs. Their lyrics run the range from mild allusion to blatant criticism and they do it all to a series of consistently strong musical performances. The EP starts with an insanely catchy dose of pop-rock and concludes with straight-up driving rock. And between those bookends Rex Haberman and Jenny Case lay down one great arrangement after another to complement Haberman’s vision of social consciousness and great rock music. American Police State accomplishes everything the band set out to do, and it does so in wonderfully entertaining fashion.

Rating 4.5 Stars (out of 5) - Heath Andrews Reviews


When we last encountered the Minneapolis, MN-based pop rock outfit, War Poets, they’d just released their two-disc opus, Dulce et Decorum Est. Boasting seventeen songs, that project saw the band staying true to their messages of social justice and equality and matching it with solid musicianship throughout. However, the sheer breadth of the record presented some problems, showcasing some chinks in the armor which resulted in a record that was certainly good, but not great.

With their latest release, the American Police State EP, War Poets seem to have really taken those early criticisms to heart and have really worked at filtering their vision into a much more accessible space, in this case five solid songs of pop-rock intensity. The powerful lyrics and messages are there, this time finding the band tackling issues like income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence as is the strong musicianship, these arrangements continuing in line with their signature sound that’s earned them comparisons to Fleetwod Mac and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Things get off to a rocking start with “Better Place,” Rex Haberman taking lead vocals right off which he holds throughout the whole of the EP, as a thoughtful rhythm presses the song along while he sings, “I look to my left/I look to my right/I close my eyes and see a better place/Take me there, baby/To a better place/It doesn’t matter/I don’t know the way.” Rolls of rich electric guitar fills lend bonus emotion as do Jenny Case’s soulful backing vocals, leading into the staccato rock of “Closing In.” Haberman seems to chew off the lyrics, raging guitars roaring around him, even mimicking a siren of sorts as he tells a tale of forced insanity and of those forced to a place of self-medication in order to simply get through the day. The frenetic arrangement is rocking and serves the song’s lyric well.

“8:05 On a Saturday Night” is a surprising track, opening things up with a mid-tempo jam, fueled with a swelling horn section and a killer groove that eventually flows into a spoken word/hip hop flow that closes out the track, ending things on a note that carries the song to the next level. It also deals with the topic of gun violence, which Haberman and company are passionate about, sharing, “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people. I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.”
The next track asks a poignant question, “Where Has Love Gone?,” bridging into multiple issues while a rocking arrangement carries things forth. It’s a solid message that is buoyed by a great guitar and saxophone solo, showing some strong musicianship that undergirds the lyric while “Red Lake” closes out the record with more simmering angst and rock although it’s the least successful of the bunch, the lyric a bit too wordy throughout, losing its overall punch.

With American Police State, War Poets continue to beat their drums of protest and outrage but do so in a way that is much more concentrated and controlled than with previous efforts. The result is a more consistent set of tracks that are much more accessible which serves both the listener and the message equally well and that leaves one wishing for just a bit more, which is a good thing. - Andrew Greenhalgh


Pop-rock band War Poets are uncompromising social justice advocates with a refreshingly inviting approach to expressing their ideals. They infiltrate the pop-rock genre using smart hooks and compelling narratives to gracefully invite listeners to consider their social and political perspectives. “The songs we write have messages, but we like to pass these on in stories so they’re more relatable,” says Rex Haberman, the band’s primary creative force.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based group has garnered favorable comparisons to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and the Replacements. Like the aforementioned artists, War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy.

In just 14 months, War Poets have managed to build a highly impressive artist profile. The video for band’s lead off single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up an astounding 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. The group’s follow-up video (for the single, “Will You Be There”) netted over 45,000 views. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. The group has the added distinction of being the #1 most played album on KSJS radio in San Jose, CA. War Poets have earned nine TV and film licenses. Last spring, War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson). It’s been one heck of a year for War Poets.

The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.

When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Chase’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.

The group’s new album is boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on the album and Haberman’s sneak-peak revelations are that the new album will discuss income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.” War Poets are currently readying one of their signature poignant and purposeful videos for “8:05 On A Saturday Night” which addresses gun violence directly without glorifying an atrocity.

In a very short amount of time, War Poets have made an impact as musicians and as messengers. They have been embraced by masses and respected by some of the music industry’s leading lights. “The most fulfilling moment of it all might be when we played ‘Close Enough’ during our CD release party. There were all these people I’ve never seen before so into that song,” Haberman says, pausing thoughtfully. “As a heterosexual male, making that connection that we have different orientations but I still care for you, respect you, and love you as another human being. That was a great moment.” - Music Existence


Pop-rock band War Poets are uncompromising social justice advocates with a refreshingly inviting approach to expressing their ideals. They infiltrate the pop-rock genre using smart hooks and compelling narratives to gracefully invite listeners to consider their social and political perspectives. “The songs we write have messages, but we like to pass these on in stories so they’re more relatable,” says Rex Haberman, the band’s primary creative force.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based group has garnered favorable comparisons to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and the Replacements. Like the aforementioned artists, War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy.

In just 14 months, War Poets have managed to build a highly impressive artist profile. The video for band’s lead off single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up an astounding 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. The group’s follow-up video (for the single, “Will You Be There”) netted over 45,000 views. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. The group has the added distinction of being the #1 most played album on KSJS radio in San Jose, CA. War Poets have earned nine TV and film licenses. Last spring, War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson). It’s been one heck of a year for War Poets.

The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.

When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Chase’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.

The group’s new album is boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on the album and Haberman’s sneak-peak revelations are that the new album will discuss income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.” War Poets are currently readying one of their signature poignant and purposeful videos for “8:05 On A Saturday Night” which addresses gun violence directly without glorifying an atrocity.

In a very short amount of time, War Poets have made an impact as musicians and as messengers. They have been embraced by masses and respected by some of the music industry’s leading lights. “The most fulfilling moment of it all might be when we played ‘Close Enough’ during our CD release party. There were all these people I’ve never seen before so into that song,” Haberman says, pausing thoughtfully. “As a heterosexual male, making that connection that we have different orientations but I still care for you, respect you, and love you as another human being. That was a great moment.”

- See more at: http://www.rk3.com/?tag=american-police-state#sthash.6G6Ih4p2.dpuf - RK3


The War Poets are one band who’ve been incredibly consistent on several fronts; their message (understanding the inequalities of people while optimistically musing for a better tomorrow) and their music (top notch and well-produced) always seem to come from a real place with a true motive and in their new project American Police State I’m hoping that they continue this trend as their debut album Dulce et Decorum Est was one I didn’t expect to have as much an impact on me as it did.

“Better Place” is an insightful look at taking account of where you are in life and even though you may not know how to find your own ‘better place’, to have faith that it does exist. The playing on this track is tight and crisp and a great way to kick off an album because it encompasses everything that the lead off should. This is my favorite song on the album because of it having just the right mix of elements and being able to put them on display.

“Closing In” touches on fitting in with a society you disagree with and if you’re not careful, the deceptively good lyrics might slip by you when you’re faced with the raucous instrumentation. Lines such as “Shoot me up with drugs/ so I can play along with everyone, in the game/ It’s all I can do/ to get myself out of bed” made me stop and think about the double entendre just delivered: are we working so hard doing menial tasks that we hurt ourselves and become reliant on drugs to mask the pain? Or because of being stuck in this ‘game’ are we consuming high fructose corn syrup and caffeine just to get on with the show? To me, this is the best part of listening to War Poets; the songs are deep enough to require a second and sometimes third listening before you truly have a grasp on the material.

American Police State wraps up with “Red Lake”, a song attributed to a proud and self-reliant individual standing up to oppression who becomes jailed. The progressive songwriting is what stood out to me here, among other aspects, it is rare to hear a well-conceptualized idea spread out and as engrossing a visual as the band presents what really sets it over the top is the powerful guitar solo; it allows what you hear to really sink in and I can’t think of a better way to end a project than with a high-energy and memorable opine for living your life your way. Overall, with this being my second time reviewing the War Poets I have to note that there wasn’t a lot of improvement because there wasn’t much improvement truly necessary in the first place—the band knows how to make their kind of songs and this, if anything, was their acknowledgement of being more refined than they were before. - Che's Music Reviews


War Poets

American Police State

Review by G. W. Hill
This is a very diverse set. At times it comes into a melodic rock sound. At other points it lands more in the raw, hard edged indie rock territory. It even gets into some hip hop. The thing is, the combination of sounds works and this actually feels cohesive and coherent. It’s a little left of center and probably not for everyone, but it’s quite good.




Track by Track Review

Better Place
There is a real modern pop rock vibe to this tune. It’s the most mainstream and accessible song on the disc. The Dire Straits element is definitely present here. This song seems to be about wealth inequality and about how people are always hoping to find themselves in a better place.


Closing In
A lot more punk rock energy is heard on this thing. It’s a real rocker.

8:05 On a Saturday Night
A slower and mellower number, the blend of sounds here is unusual. At times it has a folk meets country and soft rock sound. Raps (both male and female), though, bring it more into hip hop territory.

Where Has Love Gone
Again Dire Straits is a reference point here. That said, this one is almost metallic at times. It features a smoking hot guitar solo and some great saxophone work.

Red Lake
Hard edged and punky, this is a little raw. - Music Street Journal


Much like the War Poets’ previous release, Dulce Et Decorum Est, American Police State has an obvious way of taking on some political topics here and there. In fact, this new release tackles very specific subject matter, dealing with issues such as gun crime, homelessness, and drug abuse.
“Better Place” begins the album and introduces the scruffy vocals of Rex Haberman along with the soft backing vocals of Jenny Case, who serves as Haberman’s right hand woman throughout. “Closing In” continues the release with punk rock gusto and haunting lyrics. The subject of how drugs can turn a person into such an irrational, obsessive creature is covered. Haberman sings, “As the night gets darker the walls start talking to me. The man won’t disappear, but he’s there when I turn my head.”
“8:05 On A Saturday Night” is the track they’re working on creating a video for first. This one addresses the issue of gun violence and is unique in that it features a poignant section of rap. The track brings to mind all the mass killings America has experienced over the past few years and touches on the fact that violent video games have only encouraged this type of behavior.
Haberman and Case are two people who know how to write intriguing music, but they are also political musicians urging listeners think about the future of their country. Either you enjoy politically-minded music or you don’t; with them, though, they find a way of making you enjoy the music without immediately realizing its political intent. One of the most continuously impressive aspects of their work is that they’re able to produce such well-focused releases. Unlike their last release, however, this album contains only 5 songs.
With all the work they’ve put into their music, War Poets are traveling full speed ahead. 2014 promises to be an eventful year for the group in that they are set to release a total of three albums this year. The first of this trio is this release, where the album’s title does justice to the type of subject matter you’re able to find inside. The second album will be one titled Hot and Cold: American Relationships. This one is said to be an album about the beauty and turmoil of relationships and is set to be released this fall. Finally, the third release will be released at the very end of 2014 and will be titled Searching for the American Dream.
Review by Alec Cunningham - Good Vibes


long with a covers album or a live album, the double-album is something that it seems every artist tries once in their career. Minneapolis rockers War Poets get that out of the way with their debut, Dulce et Decorum Est. The rising stars – and I mean that; this is a group with some serious momentum behind them – split their first album into two parts: rock songs and ballads.

As it turns out, this dichotomy is a false one. Despite the two-part format, the band refuses to pigeonhole itself or any of its songs, seeking a whole that’s greater than the sum of these parts. The two halves of the album work together just as effectively as they stand apart.

There’s a quality to Dulce et Decorum Est that few artists, especially debut artists, can successfully execute. It’s a sort of déjà vu effect; you feel like you know it from somewhere, something from your past maybe, but that can’t be possible, right?



War Poets make it possible by hitting all the right emotional notes, creating that pleasant sense of familiarity. There’s a universality to this music, and it somehow feels effortless. The band knows how to turn lyrical simplicity in an asset: one of the album’s best lines, “I can’t say nothing that’ll take the pain away/You don’t wanna hear that kind of bullshit anyway,” works because its speaks to a shared experience. Clever turns of phrase or layered metaphors would give this reviewer plenty to “ooh” and “ahh” over, but the route that War Poets choose to take on Dulce et Decorum is actually more impressive, and its result is massively appealing.

It’s interesting that War Poets shy away from calling their music “country,” because the influence of the better parts of that genre’s history shape some of the album’s best moments. “Good Company,” a genuinely funny track that already feels like a folk classic, is Zac Brown Band does Garth Brooks does Dwight Yoakam. One of the major standouts, “Starry Nights in the Country” (the word’s right there in the title) shines with its chorus’ memorable melody and a co-ed duet that deserves recognition that similar, perhaps lesser, tracks have been seeing for several years.



In the end, Dulce et Decorum Est leaves an impression through the indescribably mood it creates, a mood that that will likely mean different things to different people. For me, it conjures up images of late, nostalgic nights. Bonfires, first kisses, proms (give me a break; I’m young), but also losses and loves that just weren’t meant to be. But don’t let my review shape how you respond to Dulce et Decorum Est: experience this high accomplishment of a debut for yourself.

Check out War Poets on Spotify, iTunes, or their website. The band, ever moving forward, has two albums planned for 2014 released: American War State will explore issues of violence and poverty, and Hot and Cold: American Relationships will examine modern love. Follow War Poets on Twitter. - indiemunity


'Excellent story-telling and well-chosen visuals effectively portray one of the great civil rights victories of our era.' - The Akademia Music Awards


War Poets' video Close Enough, about marriage equality, was selected to be played at the Idyllwild Film Festival in January, 2014, Idyllwild, California. - Idyllwild


In the never ending push/pull of society it almost always seems like someone has something to take a stand on.

On rare, perhaps even ultra-rare, occasion these stands change the tide so much it is seen years later as the catalyst of change. But if there weren’t people willing to take those stands, we’d have little to nothing; and the results when they do may surprise you.

There is a fine line walked when playing a social commentary, fall off that line and if could be seen as something that comes across pushy. Minneapolis based War Poets is a band that takes those chances. They not only convey purpose without being pushy, they strike a beautiful song to a beautiful video.

Is this a catalyst for change? We can’t say. Only time will tell. But do you see anyone else taking the stand? You be the judge. Here is War Poets’ “Close Enough” - Nanobot Rock Reviews


War Poets was selected as one of ten national emerging artist by HRC Equality Rocks! - HRC Equality Rocks


ongwriting - 3.5 || Music - 3.5 || Vocals - 3.5
Web: www.warpoets.net
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Genre: Rock/Americana

War Poets are a rock duo to be respected and appreciated. Their latest 17 song LP
release, Dulce et Decorum Est, is a compilation of upbeat songs sprinkled with a touch of
love and social awareness. Dulce introduces us to the War Poets', Rex Haberman and
Jenny Case, awesome talents as musicians and singer/songwriters, leaving no room for
doubt that the Poets' are looking at a long and successful future in the Americana genre.

As you get into Dulce et Decorum Est, you'll get a hefty does of Rex and Jenny's
awesome vocal talents. Both singers have very rich and seasoned vocal tones that
match the style of music they produce. Often times, when doing reviews, I run into artists
who have great voices but they don't match the style of music they're trying to do, but
with the War Poets you get the right fit. The musicians do a great job of delivering the
compositions in the areas of timing and skill, which is another issue that many other
bands seem to not quite have in order.

Songs like "Don't Look Back", "Close Enough", "Dominica's Been Sent", "Good
Company", and "" each stood out to me. I liked the contrasts between each of these
songs; all of them adding their own unique colors and dimensions to the album's overall
picture. Dulce is a strong classic rock LP that should do well for the War Poets with lots of
promotion and live performance dates.

I think these guys deserve a great deal of respect just for the simple fact that they
released an actual LP in an era of music where EP releases have become the new
normal. War Poets are an awesome band and I'd recommend them to any fan of
American rock music. - I Am Entertainment Magazine






WAR POETS RELEASE SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS MUSIC VIDEO FOR DEBUT SINGLE



originally published: 2012-08-08 11:24:16



With their debut record scheduled for an October release, War Poets -- a new band featuring five veterans of Minnesota's pop/rock scene -- have decided to introduce themselves the old-fashioned way: by releasing a love song.

"Close Enough" is no run-of-the-mill ballad, though. Set to a sunny mix of electric guitars and radio-ready hooks, it's a bold, progressive love song about two couples in New York City. One couple consists of two males; the other consists of two females. (Check out the band's new website: www.warpoets.net where you can view the "Close Enough" video).
"These couples are in love, just like people in other relationships," says War Poets front man and songwriter Rex Haberman, who co-wrote the track with Grammy winning producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Meat Puppets, Jonny Lang). "They want to get married. It's a portrayal of what they go through to make that happen."

Directed by Toni Trussoni and produced by Chris Bueckers, the music video for "Close Enough" brings the controversial issue of gay marriage to life. Archival footage and still photographs are sprinkled throughout, showing a pro-gay rally one minute and an anti-gay demonstration the next. The story is set in New York's Greenwich Village, home of the Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots culminated in the first Gay Pride Parade. The video is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings. Trussoni's choices of locations were both idyllic St Paul and upscale Minneapolis, and St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church -- a gorgeous building in St Paul, MN, not far from the band's Minneapolis headquarters -- serves as the location where both couples finally get married.

"This is the first time that I have worked on a project with gay couples as the focal point," Bueckers explains. "It was a challenge. Some people would not work on the project because of the subject matter, and I was a little taken aback by that. The film community is usually very open and progressive about the topic of gay rights."

Haberman admits to growing up in an era of intense discrimination, when, he admits, "anyone fitting into the acronym LGBTQ was considered to suffer from a mental illness and the practice of showing one's love for another was illegal." Years later, American society has become more tolerantbut not tolerant enough. By stirring up more interested in the issue, War Poets hope to shine a light on a community that has been continually misrepresentedeven underminedby the same country that once arrested them and sent them to jail or psychiatric hospitals.

Their timing couldn't be better. This November, Minnesota voters will have the chance to weigh in on the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, a measure that defines marriage as a union between heterosexual couples. Will War Poets' home state strike down gay marriage, once and for all, or will they allow all couples to be as "close enough" as they'd like to be?"

Look for Dulce et Decorum Est, War Poets' anticipated debut album, in early October.

For more information, please visit www.warpoets.net - New Jersey Stage






WAR POETS RELEASE SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS MUSIC VIDEO FOR DEBUT SINGLE



originally published: 2012-08-08 11:24:16



With their debut record scheduled for an October release, War Poets -- a new band featuring five veterans of Minnesota's pop/rock scene -- have decided to introduce themselves the old-fashioned way: by releasing a love song.

"Close Enough" is no run-of-the-mill ballad, though. Set to a sunny mix of electric guitars and radio-ready hooks, it's a bold, progressive love song about two couples in New York City. One couple consists of two males; the other consists of two females. (Check out the band's new website: www.warpoets.net where you can view the "Close Enough" video).
"These couples are in love, just like people in other relationships," says War Poets front man and songwriter Rex Haberman, who co-wrote the track with Grammy winning producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Meat Puppets, Jonny Lang). "They want to get married. It's a portrayal of what they go through to make that happen."

Directed by Toni Trussoni and produced by Chris Bueckers, the music video for "Close Enough" brings the controversial issue of gay marriage to life. Archival footage and still photographs are sprinkled throughout, showing a pro-gay rally one minute and an anti-gay demonstration the next. The story is set in New York's Greenwich Village, home of the Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots culminated in the first Gay Pride Parade. The video is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings. Trussoni's choices of locations were both idyllic St Paul and upscale Minneapolis, and St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church -- a gorgeous building in St Paul, MN, not far from the band's Minneapolis headquarters -- serves as the location where both couples finally get married.

"This is the first time that I have worked on a project with gay couples as the focal point," Bueckers explains. "It was a challenge. Some people would not work on the project because of the subject matter, and I was a little taken aback by that. The film community is usually very open and progressive about the topic of gay rights."

Haberman admits to growing up in an era of intense discrimination, when, he admits, "anyone fitting into the acronym LGBTQ was considered to suffer from a mental illness and the practice of showing one's love for another was illegal." Years later, American society has become more tolerantbut not tolerant enough. By stirring up more interested in the issue, War Poets hope to shine a light on a community that has been continually misrepresentedeven underminedby the same country that once arrested them and sent them to jail or psychiatric hospitals.

Their timing couldn't be better. This November, Minnesota voters will have the chance to weigh in on the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, a measure that defines marriage as a union between heterosexual couples. Will War Poets' home state strike down gay marriage, once and for all, or will they allow all couples to be as "close enough" as they'd like to be?"

Look for Dulce et Decorum Est, War Poets' anticipated debut album, in early October.

For more information, please visit www.warpoets.net - New Jersey Stage


For Immediate Release
August 6, 2012

War Poets Release Socially-Conscious Music Video For Debut Single
"Close Enough" Displays Same Sex Marriage in Everyday Light

Minneapolis, MN—With their debut record scheduled for an October release, War Poets -- a new band featuring five veterans of Minnesota’s pop/rock scene -- have decided to introduce themselves the old-fashioned way: by releasing a love song.

“Close Enough” is no run-of-the-mill ballad, though. Set to a sunny mix of electric guitars and radio-ready hooks, it’s a bold, progressive love song about two couples in New York City. One couple consists of two males; the other consists of two females. (Check out the band’s new website: www.warpoets.net where you can view the “Close Enough” video).

“These couples are in love, just like people in other relationships,” says War Poets front man and songwriter Rex Haberman, who co-wrote the track with Grammy winning producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Meat Puppets, Jonny Lang). “They want to get married. It’s a portrayal of what they go through to make that happen.”

Directed by Toni Trussoni and produced by Chris Bueckers, the music video for “Close Enough” brings the controversial issue of gay marriage to life. Archival footage and still photographs are sprinkled throughout, showing a pro-gay rally one minute and an anti-gay demonstration the next. The story is set in New York’s Greenwich Village, home of the Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots culminated in the first Gay Pride Parade. The video is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings. Trussoni’s choices of locations were both idyllic St Paul and upscale Minneapolis, and St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church -- a gorgeous building in St Paul, MN, not far from the band’s Minneapolis headquarters -- serves as the location where both couples finally get married.

“This is the first time that I have worked on a project with gay couples as the focal point,” Bueckers explains. “It was a challenge. Some people would not work on the project because of the subject matter, and I was a little taken aback by that. The film community is usually very open and progressive about the topic of gay rights.”

Haberman admits to growing up in an era of intense discrimination, when, he admits, “anyone fitting into the acronym LGBTQ was considered to suffer from a mental illness and the practice of showing one’s love for another was illegal.” Years later, American society has become more tolerant—but not tolerant enough. By stirring up more interested in the issue, War Poets hope to shine a light on a community that has been continually misrepresented—even undermined—by the same country that once arrested them and sent them to jail or psychiatric hospitals.

Their timing couldn’t be better. This November, Minnesota voters will have the chance to weigh in on the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, a measure that defines marriage as a union between heterosexual couples. Will War Poets' home state strike down gay marriage, once and for all, or will they allow all couples to be as “close enough” as they’d like to be?"

Look for Dulce et Decorum Est, War Poets’ anticipated debut album, in early October.

For more information, please visit www.warpoets.net

Publicity:
Mike Farley
Michael J. Media Group
608-848-9707
mike@michaeljmedia.com

For LGBT PR Inquiries:
Tom Goss
Michael J. Media Group
202-281-4358
tomgoss@tomgossmusic.com
- Michael J Media


For Immediate Release
August 6, 2012

War Poets Release Socially-Conscious Music Video For Debut Single
"Close Enough" Displays Same Sex Marriage in Everyday Light

Minneapolis, MN—With their debut record scheduled for an October release, War Poets -- a new band featuring five veterans of Minnesota’s pop/rock scene -- have decided to introduce themselves the old-fashioned way: by releasing a love song.

“Close Enough” is no run-of-the-mill ballad, though. Set to a sunny mix of electric guitars and radio-ready hooks, it’s a bold, progressive love song about two couples in New York City. One couple consists of two males; the other consists of two females. (Check out the band’s new website: www.warpoets.net where you can view the “Close Enough” video).

“These couples are in love, just like people in other relationships,” says War Poets front man and songwriter Rex Haberman, who co-wrote the track with Grammy winning producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Meat Puppets, Jonny Lang). “They want to get married. It’s a portrayal of what they go through to make that happen.”

Directed by Toni Trussoni and produced by Chris Bueckers, the music video for “Close Enough” brings the controversial issue of gay marriage to life. Archival footage and still photographs are sprinkled throughout, showing a pro-gay rally one minute and an anti-gay demonstration the next. The story is set in New York’s Greenwich Village, home of the Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots culminated in the first Gay Pride Parade. The video is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings. Trussoni’s choices of locations were both idyllic St Paul and upscale Minneapolis, and St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church -- a gorgeous building in St Paul, MN, not far from the band’s Minneapolis headquarters -- serves as the location where both couples finally get married.

“This is the first time that I have worked on a project with gay couples as the focal point,” Bueckers explains. “It was a challenge. Some people would not work on the project because of the subject matter, and I was a little taken aback by that. The film community is usually very open and progressive about the topic of gay rights.”

Haberman admits to growing up in an era of intense discrimination, when, he admits, “anyone fitting into the acronym LGBTQ was considered to suffer from a mental illness and the practice of showing one’s love for another was illegal.” Years later, American society has become more tolerant—but not tolerant enough. By stirring up more interested in the issue, War Poets hope to shine a light on a community that has been continually misrepresented—even undermined—by the same country that once arrested them and sent them to jail or psychiatric hospitals.

Their timing couldn’t be better. This November, Minnesota voters will have the chance to weigh in on the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, a measure that defines marriage as a union between heterosexual couples. Will War Poets' home state strike down gay marriage, once and for all, or will they allow all couples to be as “close enough” as they’d like to be?"

Look for Dulce et Decorum Est, War Poets’ anticipated debut album, in early October.

For more information, please visit www.warpoets.net

Publicity:
Mike Farley
Michael J. Media Group
608-848-9707
mike@michaeljmedia.com

For LGBT PR Inquiries:
Tom Goss
Michael J. Media Group
202-281-4358
tomgoss@tomgossmusic.com
- Michael J Media


War Poets - "Close Enough"

The Minneapolis quintet War Poets jump headfirst into the gay marriage debate with their provocative new video for "Close Enough," which will feature on their forthcoming debut record, Dulce et Decorum Est . The video portrays the struggles as well as the tender moments of two gay couples, and the misguided prejudice they encounter in their daily lives as they try to proclaim their love to the world. The upbeat, encouraging song was co-written by War Poets frontman Rex Haberman along with local luminary Kevin Bowe, and should serve as a pop anthem of sorts to the LGBT community as they continue to fight for acceptance and understanding. - City Pages


War Poets - "Close Enough"

The Minneapolis quintet War Poets jump headfirst into the gay marriage debate with their provocative new video for "Close Enough," which will feature on their forthcoming debut record, Dulce et Decorum Est . The video portrays the struggles as well as the tender moments of two gay couples, and the misguided prejudice they encounter in their daily lives as they try to proclaim their love to the world. The upbeat, encouraging song was co-written by War Poets frontman Rex Haberman along with local luminary Kevin Bowe, and should serve as a pop anthem of sorts to the LGBT community as they continue to fight for acceptance and understanding. - City Pages


War Poets - Dulce et Decorum Est (Independently released double CD, Pop/rock)
War Poets is a new band created by five veterans of the Minnesota, Minneapolis pop/rock scene. The group is comprised of Rex Haberman, Matt Kirkwold, Jenny Case, Lisi Wright, and Dan Neale. Some of this band's music reminds us of what a cross between The Replacements and The New Pornographers might sound like. The songs combine elements from pop, rock, and Americana...combining them into an instantly familiar sounding concoction that should appeal to a wide cross section of listeners. Chief songwriter Rex Haberman has a great knack for coming up with hummable catchy melodies...and the band never overplays or pushes too hard. Dulce et Decorum Est is a two CD set featuring a total of seventeen tracks. The first ten songs on disc one are the rock songs while the second disc features seven ballads. Good solid stuff with plenty of rock solid beats. - Baby Sue


War Poets - Dulce et Decorum Est (Independently released double CD, Pop/rock)
War Poets is a new band created by five veterans of the Minnesota, Minneapolis pop/rock scene. The group is comprised of Rex Haberman, Matt Kirkwold, Jenny Case, Lisi Wright, and Dan Neale. Some of this band's music reminds us of what a cross between The Replacements and The New Pornographers might sound like. The songs combine elements from pop, rock, and Americana...combining them into an instantly familiar sounding concoction that should appeal to a wide cross section of listeners. Chief songwriter Rex Haberman has a great knack for coming up with hummable catchy melodies...and the band never overplays or pushes too hard. Dulce et Decorum Est is a two CD set featuring a total of seventeen tracks. The first ten songs on disc one are the rock songs while the second disc features seven ballads. Good solid stuff with plenty of rock solid beats. - Baby Sue


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Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 12:07 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Nov 5, 2012.
By KRISTA WILKINSON-MIDGLEY Of The Edge | 0 comments
Head-bopping rock with a look at today's issues
One of the best parts about my job is getting the opportunity to listen to new music from a wide variety of amazing artists. I’ve rocked out to punk bands in college bars, marveled at the finger-picking skill of a blues guitarist and developed a new-found appreciation for bluegrass.
Often I’m asked to write reviews for both established artists and up-and-coming ones. It’s always a delight when this happens although I’m the first to say I’m no music critic. I’m just someone who appreciates music of all kinds and enjoys having an outlet to spread the word when I hear something I like.
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to the debut album from Minneapolis-based band War Poets, who opened for Red Wanting Blue at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room last month. Titled “Dulce et Decorum Est” in a nod to the famous World War I poem by Wilfred Owen, the album is due to be released on Nov. 13 by Reissner Records. It is both a collection of head-bopping rock songs and an unapologetic shout out to some of today’s most controversial issues.
War Poets is comprised of Rex Haberman (singer and guitarist) Dan Neale (guitarist), Jenny Case (singer) and Matt Kirkwold (writer, producer and guitarist).
The album was created with the help of Grammy winner Kevin Bowe from Minneapolis and Stephen McKnight from Philadelphia. According to information on the band’s website, “Dulce et Decorum Est” brought together some of the best musicians and songwriters in the Midwest in a “sole purpose to deliver socially pertinent and conscious music, as well as an eclectic mix of fun rock songs and serious ballads that listeners will love and appreciate.” After listening to the music, I think that’s exactly what War Poets have done. I was immediately drawn into the rockin’ guitar and smoothly polished sound. The band describes itself as rock but there’s definitely a country element in there too. This is Americana music at its best.
War Poets tell fantastic stories and their songs all have a strong narrative. This is something that I really appreciate. I’m just not a fan of songs that keep everything super vague and open-ended. War Poets definitely have a story to tell and they’re not afraid to tell it. For example, the song “Close Enough” is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings in New York City in June 1969. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, the Stonewall was a gay bar in NYC that was raided by the police. A violent riot ensued between the police and the bar’s patrons. “Close Enough” weaves the background of this event with today’s current debate about the issue of gay marriage. It is a though-provoking subject wrapped in a fun rock and roll package. But the album isn’t all controversy. “Paint You the Sun” is a romantic rock ballad highlighted by Lisi Wright’s violin playing.
This is just a small sample of the 17 songs you’ll find on “Dulce et Decorum Est.” Give War Poets a try if you love a traditional rock sound and enjoy music that offers more than just a few catchy songs.
Check them out at the band’s website at www.rexhaberman.com/warpoets where you can download music, watch videos, shop for merchandise and check out their upcoming live shows. - The Intelligencer


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for The Edge
Cover
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 12:07 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Nov 5, 2012.
By KRISTA WILKINSON-MIDGLEY Of The Edge | 0 comments
Head-bopping rock with a look at today's issues
One of the best parts about my job is getting the opportunity to listen to new music from a wide variety of amazing artists. I’ve rocked out to punk bands in college bars, marveled at the finger-picking skill of a blues guitarist and developed a new-found appreciation for bluegrass.
Often I’m asked to write reviews for both established artists and up-and-coming ones. It’s always a delight when this happens although I’m the first to say I’m no music critic. I’m just someone who appreciates music of all kinds and enjoys having an outlet to spread the word when I hear something I like.
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to the debut album from Minneapolis-based band War Poets, who opened for Red Wanting Blue at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room last month. Titled “Dulce et Decorum Est” in a nod to the famous World War I poem by Wilfred Owen, the album is due to be released on Nov. 13 by Reissner Records. It is both a collection of head-bopping rock songs and an unapologetic shout out to some of today’s most controversial issues.
War Poets is comprised of Rex Haberman (singer and guitarist) Dan Neale (guitarist), Jenny Case (singer) and Matt Kirkwold (writer, producer and guitarist).
The album was created with the help of Grammy winner Kevin Bowe from Minneapolis and Stephen McKnight from Philadelphia. According to information on the band’s website, “Dulce et Decorum Est” brought together some of the best musicians and songwriters in the Midwest in a “sole purpose to deliver socially pertinent and conscious music, as well as an eclectic mix of fun rock songs and serious ballads that listeners will love and appreciate.” After listening to the music, I think that’s exactly what War Poets have done. I was immediately drawn into the rockin’ guitar and smoothly polished sound. The band describes itself as rock but there’s definitely a country element in there too. This is Americana music at its best.
War Poets tell fantastic stories and their songs all have a strong narrative. This is something that I really appreciate. I’m just not a fan of songs that keep everything super vague and open-ended. War Poets definitely have a story to tell and they’re not afraid to tell it. For example, the song “Close Enough” is dedicated to the memory of the Stonewall uprisings in New York City in June 1969. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, the Stonewall was a gay bar in NYC that was raided by the police. A violent riot ensued between the police and the bar’s patrons. “Close Enough” weaves the background of this event with today’s current debate about the issue of gay marriage. It is a though-provoking subject wrapped in a fun rock and roll package. But the album isn’t all controversy. “Paint You the Sun” is a romantic rock ballad highlighted by Lisi Wright’s violin playing.
This is just a small sample of the 17 songs you’ll find on “Dulce et Decorum Est.” Give War Poets a try if you love a traditional rock sound and enjoy music that offers more than just a few catchy songs.
Check them out at the band’s website at www.rexhaberman.com/warpoets where you can download music, watch videos, shop for merchandise and check out their upcoming live shows. - The Intelligencer


‘Dulce et Decorum Est’War Poets (self-released)???½No one will accuse Minnesota newcomers War Poets of lacking confidence. Their “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a mam-moth two-disc, 17-track undertaking and, to be fair, the Rex Haberman-fronted outfit acquit themselves quite nicely. They split the album into two sections — “Rock Songs” and “Ballads” — with the rollicking 10-track first disc the stronger of the two.The seven cuts on Disc 2 are solid, but listening to that many ballads in a row gets a little tedious. Keepers include “Don’t Look Back,” “Close Enough,” “Will You Be There,” “No Signs,” “Montserrat,” “Paint You the Sun” and “Deep Blue.” This is a promising debut. - Pittsburgh Daily News, November 13, 2012


Minneapolis-based band War Poets are Jenny Case (bass, vocals), and Rex Haberman (vocals, guitar), joined for album and live work by Matt Kirkwold (guitar, vocals), Danny Neale (guitar, vocal), and Lisi Wright (violin).
Titled Dulce et Decorum Est (“it is sweet and right”) in a nod to the famous World War I poem by Wilfred Owen, its two discs are divided up into "Rock Songs" and "Ballads." - The Trades


Minneapolis-based band War Poets are Jenny Case (bass, vocals), and Rex Haberman (vocals, guitar), joined for album and live work by Matt Kirkwold (guitar, vocals), Danny Neale (guitar, vocal), and Lisi Wright (violin).
Titled Dulce et Decorum Est (“it is sweet and right”) in a nod to the famous World War I poem by Wilfred Owen, its two discs are divided up into "Rock Songs" and "Ballads." - The Trades


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis aren’t the only ones with a gay-rights anthem that’s turning into a viral hit: Local folk-rock group the War Poets, led by scene vets Rex Haberman and Jenny Case, have garnered nearly 200,000 YouTube views with their video for “Close Enough.” It’s just one of many socially conscious, historically contextualized songs on the new Kevin Bowe-co-produced album, “Dulce et Decorum Est,” which Haberman and Case will promote Friday at Bunker’s with an expanded War Poets lineup that includes guitarist Dan Neale and Alicia Wiley on keys.
Chris Riemenschneider - Vita.MN


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis aren’t the only ones with a gay-rights anthem that’s turning into a viral hit: Local folk-rock group the War Poets, led by scene vets Rex Haberman and Jenny Case, have garnered nearly 200,000 YouTube views with their video for “Close Enough.” It’s just one of many socially conscious, historically contextualized songs on the new Kevin Bowe-co-produced album, “Dulce et Decorum Est,” which Haberman and Case will promote Friday at Bunker’s with an expanded War Poets lineup that includes guitarist Dan Neale and Alicia Wiley on keys.
Chris Riemenschneider - Vita.MN


War Poets’ first full length recording Dulce et Decorum Est shows off a collective effort of five veterans of the Minnesota pop/rock scene running the gamut from country rockers to piano ballads with lyrics mainly written by Rex Haberman who shares songwriting duties with bandmates Matt Kirkwold and Jenny Case.

Instead of narrowing down the playing field to one cohesive album, it is a clean divide between kicking off rockers on the first CD with the crackle of plugging in guitars and blasting off with the Replacements-esque “Don’t Look Back” and first single “Close Enough” with a literary rocker meets Friends reruns groove.

The second disc includes a little French stroll, “Caught me In Paris” with some creative French lines and the accordion as a preamble to the countrified, “Deep Blue”; Dulce et Decorum Est is built on relationship songs and not war between people and nations.

There are lots of jangly gritty Replacements with Big Star at the core groove with almost a communal feel of all the added music depth, producer Kevin Rowe who has worked with Johnny Lang and Paul Westerberg leaves a solid birthmark as part of the production crew.

For more, visit Band www.WarPoets.net

By Brad Hardisty - Music News Nashville


Five Minneapolis musicians comprise the band War Poets, but Rex Haberman, a longtime songwriter with three discs to his credit, is at the center of the band’s debut album. Haberman wrote or cowrote all 17 songs on Dulce et Decorum Est. Even a casual listen, however, reveals how important collaboration was to this two-disc set. Matt Kirkwold and Jenny Case helped with some of the songwriting, and played, respectively, guitar and bass. Coproducers Kevin Bowe and Stephen McKnight also share a couple of bylines with Haberman, and play guitar.

Bowe’s studio is in Minneapolis, McKnight’s in Philadelphia. Musicians from both cities appear on various tracks here, but the album doesn’t seem scattered or inconsistent. Its Minneapolis pedigree is immediately obvious in the crunchy guitars and melodic hook of the first tune, "Don’t Look Back." Ironically, McKnight produced this track, but its attitude and influence echo the Replacements. Drummer Matt Curran hits hard, and guitarist Matt Kirkwold brings the tune the right mix of finesse and distortion. Case’s harmony vocal in the chorus gives a velvet touch to the song’s slightly hard edge.

Case takes the lead vocal in "Another Lie," an up-tempo rocker to which she also contributes an impressively fluid bass line. Alison Scott and Haberman duet in "Dominica’s Been Sent," and Scott’s singing has a new-country ring that should widen the track’s appeal. The song’s crossover potential seems calculated to sell, but clever playing and a good arrangement save it from being ordinary. In fact, the playing throughout is first rate, and "Good Company" showcases a band that can rock’n’roll. Neale is especially impressive here, but he’s a player of such consistency and good ideas that each solo he takes brings focus to the track it’s part of.

Disc 2 is softer and heavier on ballads, to which the players easily shift gears. Case has a gentle feature in "Partly Naked," the best of the seven tunes on this disc. Haberman is a good rock singer, but he’s also fully convincing in ballads. Still, the album’s rock half is more consistent overall -- a single, cherry-picked disc that included the ballads "Partly Naked" and "Deep Blue" would perhaps have been more effective.

Bruce Templeton mastered Dulce et Decorum Est and it flows together well, but I preferred McKnight’s Philadelphia recordings for their visceral punch -- Curran’s drums ring out hard, and Case’s bass has better definition than in the Minneapolis tracks. The lead vocals are well out in front throughout, and instruments are clearly presented, but McKnight leans toward filling the soundstage, which gives his recordings their impact. The tunes Bowe produced are more country-rock in flavor, so his lighter touch is appropriate there. I just prefer this album’s harder-rocking songs.

Dulce et Decorum Est is self-released, but you can find it at CD Baby and Amazon, and can download it at iTunes. You can also find two videos by the band on their beautifully designed website.

. . . Joseph Taylor
josepht@soundstagenetwork.com - Good Sound!


Five Minneapolis musicians comprise the band War Poets, but Rex Haberman, a longtime songwriter with three discs to his credit, is at the center of the band’s debut album. Haberman wrote or cowrote all 17 songs on Dulce et Decorum Est. Even a casual listen, however, reveals how important collaboration was to this two-disc set. Matt Kirkwold and Jenny Case helped with some of the songwriting, and played, respectively, guitar and bass. Coproducers Kevin Bowe and Stephen McKnight also share a couple of bylines with Haberman, and play guitar.

Bowe’s studio is in Minneapolis, McKnight’s in Philadelphia. Musicians from both cities appear on various tracks here, but the album doesn’t seem scattered or inconsistent. Its Minneapolis pedigree is immediately obvious in the crunchy guitars and melodic hook of the first tune, "Don’t Look Back." Ironically, McKnight produced this track, but its attitude and influence echo the Replacements. Drummer Matt Curran hits hard, and guitarist Matt Kirkwold brings the tune the right mix of finesse and distortion. Case’s harmony vocal in the chorus gives a velvet touch to the song’s slightly hard edge.

Case takes the lead vocal in "Another Lie," an up-tempo rocker to which she also contributes an impressively fluid bass line. Alison Scott and Haberman duet in "Dominica’s Been Sent," and Scott’s singing has a new-country ring that should widen the track’s appeal. The song’s crossover potential seems calculated to sell, but clever playing and a good arrangement save it from being ordinary. In fact, the playing throughout is first rate, and "Good Company" showcases a band that can rock’n’roll. Neale is especially impressive here, but he’s a player of such consistency and good ideas that each solo he takes brings focus to the track it’s part of.

Disc 2 is softer and heavier on ballads, to which the players easily shift gears. Case has a gentle feature in "Partly Naked," the best of the seven tunes on this disc. Haberman is a good rock singer, but he’s also fully convincing in ballads. Still, the album’s rock half is more consistent overall -- a single, cherry-picked disc that included the ballads "Partly Naked" and "Deep Blue" would perhaps have been more effective.

Bruce Templeton mastered Dulce et Decorum Est and it flows together well, but I preferred McKnight’s Philadelphia recordings for their visceral punch -- Curran’s drums ring out hard, and Case’s bass has better definition than in the Minneapolis tracks. The lead vocals are well out in front throughout, and instruments are clearly presented, but McKnight leans toward filling the soundstage, which gives his recordings their impact. The tunes Bowe produced are more country-rock in flavor, so his lighter touch is appropriate there. I just prefer this album’s harder-rocking songs.

Dulce et Decorum Est is self-released, but you can find it at CD Baby and Amazon, and can download it at iTunes. You can also find two videos by the band on their beautifully designed website.

. . . Joseph Taylor
josepht@soundstagenetwork.com - Good Sound!


War Poets – Dulce et Decorum Est
Every so often an act comes along that is – or at least seems to be – less a group and more a collective. New Pornographers, Traveling Wilburys, The Grays…whether these outfits stayed together a long time is less important than the special quality they all possessed: talent and creativity to burn. Now, while those aforementioned acts are made up of names you’d recognize, that quality is not always a necessary ingredient. Case in point is War Poets. This outfit is comprised of no less than six songwriters; they’re even listed as such in the liner notes of Dulce et Decorum Est, rather than, y’know, bandmembers. Don’t be put off by the foreign-sounding title; this is some seriously accessible-yet-varied music, one of the most consistently engaging releases I’ve heard in some time. Moreover, it’s a 2cd set, divided into “Rock Songs” and “Ballads” (guess which disc I prefer.) - Musocribe Bill Kopp's Music Blog


War Poets, Dulce et Decorum Est (self-distributed) Minneapolis’ War Poets’ debut offers two power pop CDs of “Rock Songs” and “Ballads.” With five guitarists trading off – including bandmate and producer Kevin Bowe – these songs are ripe with hooks and catchy riffs. – MD - Vintage Guitar Magazine, April 2013


War Poets, Dulce et Decorum Est (self-distributed) Minneapolis’ War Poets’ debut offers two power pop CDs of “Rock Songs” and “Ballads.” With five guitarists trading off – including bandmate and producer Kevin Bowe – these songs are ripe with hooks and catchy riffs. – MD - Vintage Guitar Magazine, April 2013


Focus Track: “Don’t Look Back”
Also featuring additional tracks from the LP Dulce et Decorum Est (released December 2012)
RIYL: The Replacements, New Pornographers, Big Star

Artist Highlights
*Video for “Close Enough” (song promoting same-sex marriage) from Dulce et Decorum Est has garnered 304,000 views in first five months of release

*Station ADDS: KAXE, WBJB, WBSD, WFIV, WERU

*Top 10 WLFR

*Supported National Act Red Wanting Blue on Midwest Tour Dates in 2012


What They’re Saying About War Poets:

“Some of this band's music reminds us of what a cross between The Replacements and The New Pornographers might sound like. The songs combine elements from pop, rock, and Americana...combining them into an instantly familiar sounding concoction that should appeal to a wide cross section of listeners. Chief songwriter Rex Haberman has a great knack for coming up with hummable catchy melodies...and the band never overplays or pushes too hard.”—LMNOP.com

“Don’t be put off by the foreign-sounding title; this is some seriously accessible-yet-varied music, one of the most consistently engaging releases I’ve heard in some time.”—Bill Kopp, MUSOScribe

“War Poets’ first full length recording Dulce et Decorum Est shows off a collective effort of five veterans of the Minnesota pop/rock scene running the gamut from country rockers to piano ballads….There are lots of jangly gritty Replacements with Big Star at the core groove with almost a communal feel of all the added music depth.”—Music News Nashville

“Macklemore & Ryan Lewis aren’t the only ones with a gay-rights anthem that’s turning into a viral hit: Local folk-rock group the War Poets, led by scene vets Rex Haberman and Jenny Case, have garnered (over 300,000) YouTube views with their video for “Close Enough.” It’s just one of many socially conscious, historically contextualized songs on the new Kevin Bowe-co-produced album, “Dulce et Decorum Est.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Minneapolis Star Tribune


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

After nearly a year of touring and releasing their first studio LP album, Dulce et Decorum Est, War Poets are back in the studio working on their new LP. This time, acclaimed Grammy-winning producer Joe Baldridge from Nashville has joined up with the band.

They are recording in Nashville, at John Richardson's (Gin Blossoms drummer) Drum Farm Studio in Menomonie, WI, and once again with Kevin Bowe producing at Okemah Studios in Minneapolis. The new album will be released probably in February of 2014 and will, of course, include songs about today's important topics. This time songs about USA gun violence, income inequality, Native American rights, aging and dying, and other topics are included.

Ariel Hyatt from New York and Jennifer Yeko from LA have joined the War Poets' PR team. Ariel's company, CyberPR, specializes in social media. Jennifer's company, True Talent Management, is a traditional PR firm dedicated to getting the word out.

Despite working in the studio, War Poets are still gigging, playing locally and doing short regional and national tours.

War Poets was named by band members Jenny Case and Rex Haberman in conjunction with songwriter Matt Kirkwold. Influenced by legends like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, these 3 musicians combined to write the majority of the 17 songs on their self released debut album, Dulce et Decorum Est. The songs tell stories of socially important issues in rock and ballad styles, and were produced by Kevin Bowe in Minneapolis and Stephen McKnight in Philadelphia.

Both AAA and college radio picked up on the momentum generated by the band's first video, Close Enough (>250,000 You Tube views). Close Enough, Don't Look Back, Dominica's Been Sent, and Deep Blue are examples of songs played on North American radio.

The band's United States tour included playing venues and events such as Whisky A Go Go on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, The National Underground in New York's Lower East Side, and several large national festivals (in Austin, NYC for example).

Multiple TV and film licenses have been obtained. All 17 songs in both instrumental and full versions have been accepted.

Band Members