well red
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well red

Band Alternative Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"Well red demo EP review by Anna Murray"

If you didn’t know it before, this demo would leave you in no doubt as to this trio’s county of origin. Before the addition of Ann Lehane’s violin and vocal skills, AJ Barry and Tom Ryan were well known around Cork. Since AJ Barry’s winning of the Whistlers’ Singer/Songwriter competition last December, Well Red’s popularity has boomed through press coverage, radio play and the rumours of their live performances.

If I were to take one thing away after listening to this CD, it would be to not take things too seriously. It is difficult to know, as Corkonian Brigade unfolds its first strands of candid acoustica, whether to laugh or cry. I chose to laugh, assuming of course that we could not be expected to take this as being more than an innovative tourist brochure.

With unassuming violin and guitar backing mirroring perfectly its horrendously simplistic and at times almost childish rhymes and rhythms, the opening track skilfully manages to ostracise everyone who isn’t from his “rebel town”. Its melody is pleasant enough, but its lyrics are off-putting, e.g. a main feature of the chorus being the “many hills to walk up and down”. The real low point though, is his invitation to “dance and sing with me”, inspiring only a comparison with a primary school song.

Still, it’s good to enjoy a song enough to laugh. It’s hard to resist being swayed by the charms of its innocence, feeling the refreshment of an unaffected honesty, loyalty and homepride. An infectious confident contentment oozes through, carried on into Woman on a Bus, which picks things up considerably.

An uplifting riff with an uplifting melody shows the true quality of AJ Barry’s talent. There is much of the same self-conscious honesty present, yet his song-writing skills are here put to better use in a more solid song. The syncopated and broken rhythms of the chorus and solo guitar are perfectly balanced by some smooth-running lyrics.

Perfect Stranger is, in a word, beautiful: its finely-wrought lyrics, melody, guitar, violin, everything. It’s songs like this one that will stamp the name of Well Red indelibly onto the skin of the Irish music scene. Although it features some very Spanish-sounding guitar, the strong Irish singer-songwriter influence is hard to shake, as it also features the soft emotion and acoustic-session feeling of the latter. Ryan’s harmonies and Lehane’s violin, despite the minor tone of the song, gracefully enhance the juxtaposed hope and sadness.

It is at this point you wish there was more, but so it ends, leaving you intrigued and hooked, with of course the reminder not to take things too seriously. - www.musician.ie


'The Family tree 2004' - Compilation CD containing 1 of our original tracks called 'Nervous'
Well red demo EP - 2005
'Catalytic Sessions' - 2005 compilation CD containing 'Woman on a bus'


Feeling a bit camera shy


We are a unique trio in that we combine funky rhythms, honest lyrics and at times haunting melodies mixed with strong vocal harmonies. Our lyrics are worn on our sleeve and we try not to be protentous. We try to make people smile while at the same time make their heart skip a beat with an emotional anguish that they havent felt before. We take our music seriously but try to take life less seriously. Our influences range from the Beatles to Jack Johnson, from Bell X1 to Snow Patrol. Our live act has developed from a happy go lucky, in your face style to a much more deep and thought provoking stage presence. The pin drop silence of our recent audiences has forced ourselves to believe much more strongly in what we are doing. We have discovered a new sense of purpose.
Just listen.