Robert Christgau:Dean of American Rock Critics Joe Fahey: Baker’s Cousin (Rough Fish) “There’s a vaccine on the horizon/There’s a sunrise in the east,” the opener reports hopefully, but one-note melodies and $12 cocktails impinge as the insomnia that began with “that one election” never fully loosens its hold (“All Quiet on the Midwestern Front,” “Nobody’s Afraid of Ringo”) *** Consumer Guide: January, 2023
Tom Hull On the Web Wednesday, December 14, 2022 Joe Fahey: Baker's Cousin (2022, Rough Fish): Minnesota singer-songwriter, fifth album since 2006, too much rock reverb for country, but I suppose Americana might claim him. B+(**) [sp] https://tomhull.com/ocston/blog/index.php
Dan Israel:Hardest working singer-songwriter in Minnesota With strong production work (and virtuoso playing of almost every known musical instrument) by Dan Kowalke. If you think you would like an enticing combination of influences that, to my ears, includes Leonard Cohen, John Prine, and even Weird Al in places, I think you'll dig this record. Lots of strong songwriting and interesting turns of phrase, evoking both tears and laughter. Honestly, I laughed out loud several times while listening to it (and it hit me emotionally in many ways over the course of the 13 - or Baker's Dozen, I get the title now! - songs). Pick it up on Bandcamp or at your local Twin Cities record store. A fine batch of steaming hot new tunes from longtime songsmith Joe Fahey - straight from his musical oven to your ears!
Reviews & Good Words for "February On Ice" (2021)
Robert Christgau Dean of American rock critics Consumer Guide: April, 2021 Joe Fahey:February on Ice (Rough Fish) Twin Cities lifer Fahey hits the bullseye twice with the same song, the explicitly ecological “Dante’s Inferno,” which serves as both Crazy Horse-style opener and solo-acoustic closer: “What are you gonna do when the glaciers flood your basement?/What are you gonna do when you have to answer to Al Gore?” That plus its life’s companion we wish would grow old, the long overdue cheap shot “Fuck the Republicans,” would certainly inspire a guy to get his album on, especially with good ones that aren’t filler themselves close at hand. “Day Drinking With Dracula,” for instance, is a joke that comes easy. “I Feel So Alone Now” is so bereft you’ll feel a touch bereft yourself if you can just keep listening. A MINUS https://robertchristgau.substack.com/p/consumer-guide-april-2021?r=k5aps&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copy Three of the picks in the April 2021 Consumer Guide at Substack were recorded 30-40-50 years ago, and then there's that White Stripes best-of. But all sound new, as do the two no longer young singer-songwriters and the two tested young Black pathfinders. https://t.co/fobkexdmcz
Tom Hull On the Web Joe Fahey: February on Ice (2021, Rough Fish): Minneapolis singer-songwriter. Has a couple previous albums, but nothing Discogs or Wikipedia have noticed. Rocks some, chills out, lyrics tend to ramble, but unique enough he may be worth the trouble. Or maybe not. Choice cut: "Fuck the Republicans." B+(***) http://www.tomhull.com/ocston/blog/archives/2936-Music-Week.html
Peter Jesperson Twin Tone Records Founder / The Replacements Manager Joe Fahey – February On Ice Joe has been quietly and modestly making excellent records for many years under various guises and this album might just be his best to date.
Jim Walsh Author of The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting “Beautiful moving smart sweet needed soulful funny funky fun “February On Ice”
Brad Luen "Semipop Life" Substack Another of Minneapolis’s infinite supply of literate singer-songwriters, this one with four decades of microindie roots rock under his belt. In that time, he’s amassed a big bag of late 20th century guitar tones and has become effortless around a chord change. While he never turned into a prepossessing singer, his almost whispered low end makes you pay attention to the words, which, shock of shocks, are often the point. Strong at the couplet level, he evokes a suburban bliss that dystopia could invade at any moment; only “Fuck the Republicans” reveals that moment was four decades of microindie roots rock ago. Grade: B PLUS (“Dante’s Inferno”, “Day Drinking with Dracula”, “That Northtown Mall (Has Got It All)”) https://bradluen.substack.com