Woodstock Records’ new release of the Waydown Wailers and their debut album State of the Union is sure to be a successful premier for the new band. Waydown Wailers are a new mix of old sounds, bringing together classic rock and the blues with a jamband twist. Similar to other bands produced under the Woodstock Records label, the Wailers consists of soothing layered instrumentals paired with lyrics that some might call ‘Freedom Music.’ The band seems to have a variety of influences that range from The Grateful Dead to AC/DC, with music having anything from soft folk intros to twangy country guitar.
The Upstate New York band is a four man crew consisting of brothers Christian and Dave Parker on rhythm and lead guitar, Conner Pelkey playing bass, and Michael “Scruffy” Scriminger on drums. Dave Parker is the lead singer and songwriter of the group and his brother Christian says “Waydown Wailers wouldn’t have the same effect without my brother’s great ability to take a song and give it life.” The album was producer by Aaron Hurwitz, better known as Professor Louie of Professor Louie and the Crowmatix, veterans of Woodstock Records.
The title track off the Waydown Wailers album starts with a classic Rock & Roll guitar riff joined by a driving rhythm section. “State of the Union” is exactly what it sounds like, a song about the current state of affairs in our country and the truth behind the politicians that run it. This is a freedom song from a past era, but the message is as relevant now than ever before. “The Man” is another story about the heartlessness of big government with a big guitar solo section that finishes the song in extremely energetic fashion and compensates for vocals that leave something to be desired. The closing song “My Girl”, is one of the highlights, from the debut album, although the vocals could be stronger, but the Jam-Rock sound the song provides is outstanding. Filled with funky bass and psychedelic guitar solos that sound like they belong in the festival scene, “My Girl”, is a perfect finish to a strong first album.
Key Tracks: State of the Union, The Man, My Girl