Rock n' roll vets Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, R.E.M., Young Fresh Fellows) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Gutterball, Danny & Dusty, Miracle 3) have an unhealthy love for music undermined only by an even more unhealthy love of baseball. The compatriots blend their two passions with The Baseball Project -- Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails, an album of buzzing guitars and baseball back stories. The heroes and villains of America's (in)famous pastime are explored with cutting wit and fanboy detail in songs that satisfy both the summer's need for rock anthems and sweltering afternoon double-headers. Drummer Linda Pitmon (Miracle 3, Golden Smog) and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck round out the squad, as they spin tales of ill-fated drinking binges ('The Yankee Flipper', 'The Death of Big Ed Delahanty'), near mythical icons ('Ted Fucking Williams'), folk heroes ('Fernando', 'Satchel Paige Said') and, on 'Gratitude (For Curt Flood)', the overlooked man who changed the game. A passionately funny and sarcastically reverent commentary on the state of the sport, The Baseball Project provides a hip soundtrack to the backstage party at America's game.
Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn share a fanatical interest in America's national pastime and have formed The Baseball Project, whose debut,''Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails'' (****, out July 8 on Yep Roc), is filled with their clever songs about such stars as Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams and Satchel Paige.
Whether writing about the famous or obscure, Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball) and McCaughey (The Minus 5, R.E.M.) display an obvious love for the sport, and they get some notable backup from their longtime friend, guitarist Peter Buck of R.E.M. And yes, two Detroit Tigers do get name-dropped along the way: Denny McLain and Jim Bunning. At press time, the album was being streamed in its entirety at yeproc.com/artist_info.php?artistId=12539. --Detroit Free Press
Move over, ''Tessie.'' Take a rest, ''Sweet Caroline.'' Rock n roll loving baseball fanatics are in store for an extra-base musical hit courtesy of the Baseball Project, a quartet of Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, R.E.M.), who wrote all the songs, and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and drummer Linda Pitmon. The music is cool, but the fanboy lyrics are where the action is. There are songs about Harvey Haddix s unfair exclusion from the list of perfect game hurlers, Jack ''Black Jack'' McDowell flipping the bird to Yankee fans, Willie Mays facing Sandy Koufax, others about Fernando Valenzuela, Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Curt Flood and Mark McGwire, and mentions of Rick Wise, Minnie Minoso, Oscar Gamble and many more. And, oh yeah, there s one about Ted Williams , uh, attitude. Too bad the title can t be printed in a family newspaper. --The Boston Herald
This is not your father s baseball album. No album with a song like 'Ted Fucking Williams' could be. Instead, Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon have crafted a 13-song set about baseball from a hardcore fan s perspective, filled with songs like the harmonica-backed standout 'Satchel Paige Said,' the very humorous 'Harvey Haddix' and the album-opening 'Past Time, which
begins with the line ''Campy Campaneris played all nine positions in a game.'' Baseball devotees will know that with lines like that there s
definitely intrigue to be found here. It s also clever how the quartet use
some period piece music, like Beach Boys styled harmonies to dress up the
1960 s-based 'Sometimes I Dream of Willie Mays.' Not everything is perfect and the writing is occasionally a little
forced ('The Yankee Flipper') but it s a very ambitious recording, unlike
any other that s been laid down for the love of the game. --Newhouse News Service