I’m proud of having shared a couple stages with James Curry (Brian Tischleder – vocals, guitar and Casey Fearing on-lead guitar, vocals). They made truly for real music, resurrecting with amazing authenticity, the old Dust Bowl school. It was raw, acoustic fare with Tischleder’s searing, soulful voice sustaining the legacy of seminal legends like Woodie Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. Their albums Brand New Suit and 13 were splendid recordings.
Fans who dug Tischleder’s singing and songwriting should hold on to Brand New Suit and 13. Because they’ll not see more of the same on his solo debut, Dreams & Fear (EP). He has switched up. There’s still the craggy, sandpaper edge his vocals had, however, there some polish on it. Brian Charles Tischleder reminds me less these days of Woodie Guthrie and more of Bruce Springsteen.
One thing that hasn’t changed at all is his passion. The man’s serious as hell about what it’s in his heart and on his mind. By the time he’s done expressing himself you will be, too. The music is a fine blend of electrified folk, gospel and rock (hell of a combination). The lyrics are beautifully weird poetry, sort of what you’d expect from Tom Waits. Who Tischleder (closest he comes to recreating James Curry) sounds a bit like on “Fear,” fairly groaning,
“Fear will cut you down to dust
A Cadillac just before it begins to rust
It doesn’t matter what you believe or who you trust
Fear will cut you down to dust.”
“It’s Just A Dream” is by far the cut Tischleder would do well to push at radio stations. Ear friendly without getting slick. The backup band kicks in quite nicely, fueling the kind of rocking, rolling cut you want to play again. And again.
The whole thing really grabs you with its anthemic refrain,
“So tell it to the fire
Tell it to the wind
Tell it to the rain
It knows where we’ve been
It’s just a dream.”
On top of which there’s a killer bridge, Tischleder waxing dramatic, the band having his back every step of the way. The lineup includes area luminaries Walter Chancellor Jr. (sax), Peter Schimke (piano, organ).
All said, Brian Charles Tischleder brings it with Dreams & Fear.