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To the Races


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Audio CD, August 22, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • ASIN: B000GH3CSE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Man O' War
2. Home
3. Carrboro Woman
4. Genivieve
5. Genie, Genie
6. Lonesome Warrior
7. To The Races
8. Liars And Thieves
9. Little Bird
10. So Long, Savannah

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

His first Saddle Creek release is an unadorned and unapologetically forthright collection of songs. Whereas Bachmann's/Crooked Fingers' 2005 effort, "Dignity And Shame" was his most poppy and immediately accessible album, this one is his most sparse and reflective. Eric's warm vocals and deceptively simple arrangements keep the songs' quiet elegance ardent and complete, only occasionally augmented by Miranda Brown's angelic harmonies or Tom Hagerman's (Devotchka) haunting violin. The record tells stories of self-imposed or unintentional isolation and the common search for, or escape from, some kind of sanctuary.

Amazon.com

In the early 1990s, Eric Bachmann achieved a modicum of success by playing decent, fun, and derivative indie rock that borrowed heavily from music that groups like Pavement, Versus, and Superchunk had made a year or two earlier. It's a touch ironic, then, that today Bachmann's records sell fewer copies, even though he himself was ahead of the whole hippie folk shtick by at least a few years. The songs are lovely and unapologetically retro; if you dig Phil Ochs, Tom Rush, and solo Steve Earle, you have a new favorite artist. The arrangements are subtle and stark at once. Most songs begin with deft acoustic finger-picking, and slowly other instruments and vocals are brought in. There's very little freaky about this folk, but that doesn't mean it fails to strive to be visionary. "Man O' War," a six-and-a-half minute tale of Man vs. Nature, might be the best thing this artist's ever done. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Loring D. Wirbel on August 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I couldn't disagree more with Pancake Repairman. Granted, Crooked Fingers had achieved a certain production value with "Dignity and Shame" that was hard to beat. But we knew from the beginning that "To the Races" would be a simple acoustic album, and the quality of writing slams to the mat other acoustic folk albums of the year, from both geezers (Dylan, Springsteen) and young-uns (Mountain Goats). I heard the opener, "Man O' War", in two occasions, in a solo Christmas show in Denver and in an opener for Neko Case in June, but getting the full treatment with piano and backup singers, and reading the lyric sheet, makes me realize Bchmann's comparing the scary jellyfish species to the NSA listening post off Rota, Spain, to the British pirate raids in Cadiz, and to the ancient Phoenecian and Moorish seafarers plying trade between Spain and Morocco. Show me another folk singer who's at that level right now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Hauck on August 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
that pancake repairman obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. Bachmann is no fly by night indie poster boy. he has been doing it long enough that anyone with any familiarity of the genre knows who he is [certainly much longer than Iron and Wine...] maybe the pancake repairman would like to first learn some more about what he is reviewing before he embarrasses himself.

if you are not familiar with Eric Bachmann's work, start picking up Crooked Fingers discs. he is a brilliant songwriter, and a well accomplished musician. "To the Races" is an understandably stripped down solo album from the frontman, and is an overall quality experience. personally, i wasn't a fan of Archers of Loaf, so i am glad this is closer to his current sound as opposed to his former. there are some great songs on this album, and anyone who puts any value into songwriting and lyrics should own a copy.

keep up the good work Bachmann.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Bock on September 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I was an early and very enthusiastic Archers of Loaf supporter. Although I wasn't as taken by the direction of their later albums, I was still interested enough to give my attention to Eric Bachman's solo efforts. Crooked Fingers clawed, dug, and moaned it's way through some interesting songwriting and dark melodies enough so to find my ear appreciative. But I've never considered any Crooked Fingers efforts to approach the status of 'epic'.

With 'To the Races', however, Eric Bachman takes an undeniably giant leap towards that assignment. In between the captivating lyric-smithing and carefully crafted minimalist arrangements, we hear a noticeably fuller, richer, more dynamic vocal prowess. Suddenly it becomes easy to want to make comparisons to various legendary vocalists (an indulgence which for your benefit I'll avoid here) as, despite the musical strength of the vast majority of the individual song arrangements, Bachman's voice rises to the forefront, skillfully entreating the listener to closely follow its inviting nuances.

I'd give the album 4.5 stars, but the rating system won't let me so the album has to suffer with 4.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BabeskiB on August 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Eric Bachmann is Bob Dylan with a good voice! I loved this album...I want to take Mr. Bachmann camping with me! As you listen to this album, you can't help but think of campfires and starry nights. My favorite kind of music is a man and his guitar...with talent. The talent here is above and beyond my excpectaions. It is a mellow and slightly sad album, but the music is haunting and it will stick with you for years. If you like Bob Dylan, you will fall in love with this artist. Enjoy!
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