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THE ANN ARBOR NEWS December 16, 2001
THE MARTINDALES ‘The Martindales’Put this album on the CD player, put a beer in your hand, close your eyes, and heck, you could almost convince yourself you’re at the Tap Room. The Martindales are the house band at one of Ypsilanti’s favorite watering holes, and this is their debut album. Their sound translates to recording just about as well as any bar band could hope, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The style here is pretty much standard pub blues-rock, with a lineup of guitar and vocals (Brian Brickley), keyboards (Ravi Venugopal), bass (Rusty James), and drums (Tom Twiss), augmented by an occasional taste of horns. All four are fine players, but one thing that makes this album stand out is the songwriting. The 10 tracks (divided up on the label into an imaginary “Side 1” and “Side 2” – nice touch) were all written by Brickley, and several are surprisingly good. He’s at his best with more personal songs; the social comment of “9 mm Brother” falls a little flat. But “Quietly Hold” and “Thinking of You” are downright pretty, and “Hang My Head” is a terrific blues number that could conceivably have a life outside the Martindales. Anyone wondering about the group’s name will just have to pick up the album and read the explanation. “The Martindales” is available at the Tap Room bar, or e-mail Brian@brianbrickley.com. -Bob Needham News Entertainment Editor