Recommended Albums #31

Wee Hours Revue

Roman Candle: The Wee Hours Revue (2006)

Once in a while a band comes along that challenges your ability to categorize, even for the sake of recommending, or to put your finger on a template for. North Carolina’s Roman Candle are nominally an alt country band (I suppose) but while their songs may call other bands to mind at times, they really sound like no one–they are the rare band who are their own template.

A reviewer in the Charlotte Observer used Goats Head Soup-era Rolling Stones for comparison, and that’s as good a match as any. But I won’t hesitate to say this is a better record. There are few if any weak moments–from beginning to end it’s a melodic mix of grit and sensitivity, sometimes woven together seamlessly.

NC locals knew and raved about this band for years before this album, which was shelved for about four years by the record company, finally was released in 2006. I can’t name a better album released that year.

Roman Candle is chiefly front man Skip Matheny, his wife Timshel on keyboards and his brother Logan on drums. In person they impress you as some of the most unassuming and personable people in the music business, truly the kind of folks that deserve success. But I think talent will be the determining factor, and a listen to The Wee Hours Revue will convince you they’ve got it in spades. This might just be your next favorite band.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/01/10/songs-you-may-have-missed-287/

Listen to: “Something Left to Say”

Listen to: “You Don’t Belong to This World”

Listen to: “Another Summer”

Listen to: “New York This Morning”

Listen to: “Winterlight”

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 09:03:40

    There are not many albums that a 46 year old mother and her 17 year old son enjoy together, but this is one of them. Every song is good and that’s not a claim I can make often. Do you know if they’ve put anything out since this one?

    Reply

    • Ed Cyphers
      Nov 28, 2012 @ 09:10:41

      Yes! Their second album, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear, is quite good too. But you know how it is: you have your whole life to come up with your first album, and a year to produce a second. Wee Hours is better. But Tall Tree is a worthy second record. They are working on a third now I believe.

      Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 08:23:20

    This is easily one of my favorite bands. There songs are so atmospheric, so good to listen to whilst driving, cooking, thinking or getting over an old lover. They are indeed hard to categorize. They’re from the south, but one cannot call them country. They’re a rock band, but that label doesn’t really tell you anything about their sound. I can listen to this album all the way through. “Winterlight” is a wonderful song for a cold winter evening, and the album’s first track “Something Left to Say” is best played with the volume up.

    I was turned on to this band by my dad, who’s got great taste, and when we saw them in two separate cities we enjoyed comparing notes. The band is really personable as you’ve mentioned above. I once dragged two friends to see the band in a tiny bar in Philadelphia, and my friends came away very impressed. I was interested in buying some of their EPs, but their merch table was unmanned through the show. I soon found out why when the drummer, Logan, hopped off stage after the show to man the table himself. I was able to chat with the band and compliment their songwriting skill in person. They even played “Something Left to Say” at that show at my request and announced it was “for their friend Zack”. What great people and great musicians.

    Reply

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