Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound & image. There’s something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever “it” is – they all seem to have “it”. Today I listened to the latest CD from Tampa based Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Joe Farren who just released his latest CD entitled: “Open Skies” in 2013. Venturing to his website I get the impression this is one artists who is extremely determined, dedicated and passionate about the songwriting craft. Farren grew up in Portland, Maine in a home that vibrated with the harmonious grooves of country, folk, pop and R&B greats like Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Jr., Elton John, Steve Winwood and Bruce Springsteen. His instinctually-impeccable musical ear allowed him to accurately identify singers on the radio at a young age. Once his fingers began to explore the keyboard and the guitar, he found those 50s rock blues riffs with ease and began to emulate his favorite players. From start to finish this CD from Farren is a very entertaining musical experience all around. It has a very warm and inviting Pop-Folk quality to it, and even dabbles in Americana and Bluesy-Rock. It also reminds me of classic John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Robert Earl, John Hiatt and Guy Clark. Any fans of any of these musical styles or bands will enjoy this latest release from Farren. I can’t help but hear a bit of Woody Guthrie influence in there as well. It’s clearly marketed for those who like a male folk vocal front with sizzling musicianship in the background. I get the impression Farren is being true to himself as an artist via this compelling 11 track line up. In other words he hits the mark remarkably well by just by being who he is musically — a real soul searcher. The songwriting is impressive enough and digs a bit deeper than the next independent artist. Within each one of these pieces Farren bares his soul and delivers what I would call pure musical mojo. It offers much in the way of a compelling/thought provoking musical landscape. The playing from his band is spot on and just makes the whole CD even more enjoyable. The overall vibe of the production is very honest, sincere, passionate and captivating with pockets of hope shining through. I see Farren as a real undiscovered diamond in the rough, with an amazing amount of potential. As time goes by we will no doubt hear more from him. Let me go on record and say Joe Farren is a lucrative record deal waiting to happen. I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear more of him on Prime Time Radio someday or even in a featured in film or a TV production. In close most famous artists out there have “it” I’m not so sure what “it” is but Joe Farren has whatever “it” may be.
Score — 4/5 Stars
Michael Morrison West Lothian, Scotland (UK)
Edited by Mindy McCall
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