Joshua Schramm / Westerly
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Joshua Schramm / Westerly

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

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""February" CD Review"

Presumably Joshua Schramm titled his album February because that was the month in which he composed the majority of its songs--Schramm wrote and recorded nine of these tunes during this year’s February Album Writing Month. Speed-writing gimmicks aside, though, the music’s sedate, snowed-in feel embraces the title like a mitten hugs a cold, chapped hand. With quiet acoustic orchestration and thoughtful lyrics, February inspires the feeling one gets when staring at a gray late-winter sky and wondering why spring doesn’t just get here already. The subtle nature of these tracks lends itself to pensiveness, without ever turning morose. Schramm left Sacramento for Seattle this year, where he’s likely to find more of the sort of weather that complements his work.

By Becca Costello

http://www.newsreview.com/issues/sacto/2005-12-01/mixmusic2.asp - Sacramento News and Review


""February" Editor's Pick"

The album was mostly written in the cold winter month of February, hence the title. Joshua Schramm is a folk rocker whose voice is commanding with a genuine twist. A multi-instrumentalist, Joshua recorded himself playing guitar, banjo, percussion, and keyboards. The vocal arrangements that he manages throughout the album are impeccable. He just moved to Seattle and I hope our readers from the Pacific Northwest make him feel at home because his music sure offers a nice reprieve from the cold of stagnant folk-pop music. Excellent and highly recommended!

- J-Sin

http://www.smother.net/reviews/modernrock.php3?ID=1343
- Smother.net


"EarCandyMag.com"

Mellow is as mellow does whatever the hell that means. Don’t ask. Anyway, Joshua Schramm is mellow but not boring by any means. An acoustic singer /songwriter in much the same vein as someone like Dave Matthews. Actually, he sounds like Elvis Costello and Dave Matthews stitched together in Tom Petty’s laboratory / studio. A folk rocker, and folk rockers are few and far between these days, with a great sense of how to command your attention without clubbing you over the head with loud beats or profane lyrics. He sort of sneaks up on you like a Pink Floyd song or middle age or your girlfriends cat. The next thing you know you’re caught up in the middle of it all. - by J.R. Oliver


"Mobdog.com"

“…What redeems the work most is Schramm’s vocal tone and range. In the track “Nothing from the Old House,” Josh starts to reveal a strength of timbre and a comforting deeper pitch to his voice evident again in a some later tracks (“Slowly Unwind” and “I'm Getting Older Too”) that he should visit more. However, he sounds so different between some songs that he becomes unrecognizable and at times could very well be mistaken for two different artists.
Track 11, “Lines Drawn,” is by far a favorite and is a great showcase of Schramm’s potential. The following track, “I'm Getting Older Too” is also worth a listen. With further exploration of this kind of style and a little guidance in the right direction Joshua Schramm could unlock something powerful. “ - by Sherri Prunier - Mobdog Music


"Expatriates return"

It feels as if the local singer-songwriter scene in Sacramento has taken something of a downturn--not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity. The Fox & Goose still features singer-songwriters, interspersed with full bands, and of course Luna’s Café continues to host these solo artists. Nonetheless, it feels like last year at this time, if you threw a rock in Sacramento you’d hit a singer-songwriter. Now, I’m not entirely sure where they’ve all gone. (Statements like that always bring in a flood of e-mail explaining how out of touch I am. Maybe, like the Americana scene, they’ve all moved to Davis.)

Last year saw the departure of two of Sacramento’s most promising singer-songwriters: Mike Rofé (then the drummer for the Famous Celebrities, in addition to his solo work) and Josh Schramm (then also bassist for acoustic math-rockers Nice Monster). Rofé moved to Los Angeles, a town he felt would be more conducive to a career in music, performance being only one of many options. Schramm has relocated to Seattle, where, he said, his wife’s graduate studies provided a “good excuse” for a move.

Over the weekend, both Schramm and Rofé returned to Sacramento to perform at the Fox & Goose, Sacramento expatriates come again to the local stage. Both songwriters performed gorgeous sets, with Rofé’s being particularly surprising in the context of his stage presence. Witty banter with the audience before--and sometimes during--the songs gave the audience a chance to step back, relax a little, laugh and then pour themselves once again into the music. Schramm’s set also was superb. He performed his songs as part of a three-piece band with Rofé sitting in on drums, which gave the set a soft-rock, California sound.

Schramm’s experience in Seattle is that of being a small fish in a much bigger pond. “Seattle is infinitely larger than Sacramento,” he said, noting that there are many more opportunities to perform but also more competition. “Once Gillian Welch was performing right down the street from me. Who are you going to go see? Me or Gillian Welch?”

Nonetheless, Schramm feels Seattle music fans are serious about their music. “It seems like Seattle is fervently local. Even if there are only four people at a show, they’ll all sign my mailing list, and I’ll still sell a couple CDs.”

Rofé’s experience in Los Angeles has proved somewhat different. While he’s still positive about his move, Rofé feels that the music scene there is more cutthroat than Sacramento. “I think Sacramento musicians and listeners are there for each other,” he said. “It doesn’t seem that way in L.A. Everyone’s out for themselves.” Rofé’s primary haunts in Los Angeles include the Room 5 Lounge, the Rainbow Bar and Grill and the Pig ’n Whistle--all central points for the singer-songwriter scene there.

As for the Fox & Goose show itself, Schramm noted, “This was an exceptional show for us in Sacramento.” It’s not often that singer-songwriters can perform to large, attentive audiences in Sacramento, but that’s exactly what Schramm and Rofé did last weekend. The atmosphere was a testament not only to Schramm and Rofé, but also to Nice Monster (which celebrated its CD release that evening) and headliners Didley Squat.

Find more information on these artists at www.mikerofe.com and www.joshschramm.com. Both songwriters return to Sacramento periodically to perform, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
- By Christian Kiefer - Sacramento News and Review


Discography

"February"
Release date May, 20 2005
FOLK OFF! Records

14 Songs in 28 days
February Album Writing Month Compilation
February 2006
Rebel's Trust Records
www.fawm.org

Tune Tank - Midem 2006 Compilation
February 2006
Tune Tank -Australia
www.tune-tank.net

The United State of Americana Vol. 4
May 2006
Shut Eye Records
www.shuteyerecords.com

Playing on
http://www.webradiopugetsound.com
http://www.wholewheatradio.com
http://www.iradiola.com
http://www.kaosradio.org/

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Westerly (formerly Radio Affliction) are a new Seattle band formed and led by singer-songwriter Joshua Schramm. Their music is a mixture of Folk, Rock, Pop and Funk with a bit of twang added.

Josh Schramm is a long time performer who has been with the groups Radio Flyer (Santa Cruz), and Nice Monster (Sacramento), before touring on his own as a solo performer. Wherever Josh goes, the songs follow. A truly prolific writer and artist, he balances an artistic vision with keen observations of the world around him.

Kevin Parrington, a talented guitar and mandolin player as well as one heck of a singer, joined Josh in September of 2005 at local pubs and coffeehouses. Together they began to build on tight harmonies and a growing fanbase.

Bob Hyde (ex-MiGS, Concentrators, Astronauts of Antiquity) covers the bass in Westerly. Bob spent years in bustling Albuquerque, where he played shows large and small (and got tattoos large and small). After spending a few years in the Dirty South, Bob ventured Westerly, and eventually landed in Seattle. With everything but the tattoos, Bob's theory is "less is more." Bob uses vintage Fender P-Basses and vintage Ampeg V-4b/B-25b amps.

Andrew Squire (ex-MiGS, PELA, Spanish for 100, Giant Steps) is the newest addition to the lineup. Andrew hails from 'Burque, and has been cementing the rhythm section with Bob off and on for the last 10 years or so. After a stint in Park Slope Brooklyn with indie rockers PELA, Andrew made his way to Seattle. His precision and style made him the obvious choice to fill the role in Westerly.

Band Members