Ceramic, The Past Ain’t Fair

This group known as Ceramic really digs deep here by going outside the box on The Past Ain’t Fair.   The mastermind behind this band is singer/songwriter John Scheaffer who hails from NY.   The new record also features guest cameos from vocalist Kendal Meade and violinist Margaret White.   These two musicians play regularly with John around his home area of Brooklyn.   Ready for an experience; well here we GO!

First, I have to tell you the basis behind this album that revolves around John’s dad.   Scheaffer and Ceramic did this album in honor of his dad who had a wide range of music tastes.   The same applies to Ceramic who offer up a very diverse mix of songs and styles.   This CD means even more because it was recorded during a time when John’s mom passed away and his daughter was born.   Very emotional and extremely sentimental is what you get from John Scheaffer and Ceramic.   If that doesn’t tug at your heart, then I don’t know what will!

So…what you get from Ceramic is well-written music to go along with meaningful & quality material.   I first have to talk about the acoustic guitar playing from John as I thought that was a shining gem on this record.   Also, the use of styles coming from all different music genres was really something to hear.   Ceramic is an eclectic group that seems to have no boundaries.   From elements of blues, rock, country, psychedelic and acoustic rock/folk and Pop you get it all here!   Then, add in Scheaffer’s unique vocal delivery and the use of numerous instruments makes for a great album.  

On the opening track “You Give More Than Enough”, you are hearing slow-going singing that mixes folk & Pop.   John offers up a terrific acoustic rock performance here that really stands out in a crowd.   On “Blue Comet”, you are getting a country & blues influence that is highly detectable.   On song six, “How’d You Get So Down”, there is a fast beat with a psychedelic-like vocal performance that was very ear-pleasing.   This number happens to be my favorite song on the entire album!   Music-wise on the title track it is just a pleasure to hear–really somethin’.   Track 9 “Velvet Coat”, Ceramic switches it up by supplying you with a bluesy rock guitar riff along with a trippy effect that worked really well.   This whole track is very groovy baby! (lol)   To close the show, Ceramic gives you “Lose The King” where you get that bluesy rock sensation again, the vocals are drawn out and the song has a Wild West kind-of-vibe, but more edgy.

I have to say that John Scheaffer’s voice has such a cool, calm and relaxing quality to it.   Plus, John’s style of singing really grabs your attention right from the start.   My only suggestion is that I would have loved to have heard a couple more fast songs.   I personally loved “How’d You Get So Down” because I just liked that style a lot.   More songs like this with perhaps different variations on vocals & instrumentation would have made me really happy.   Overall, I really enjoyed the whole Ceramic experience and hope to see a follow-up!

P.S.   I think that John Scheaffer is a wonderful acoustic rock/folk artist–maybe more songs in this realm would be something to consider.      

By Jimmy Rae (jrae@skopemag.com)

[Rating: 4/5]

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