"Felicia Brady never likes to do the obvious thing. . . . Brady's adventurous melodies, precise but sensitive lyrics, and earthy Texas twang quickly whisk the listener off to unexpected places." (David Wildman, "On the Rise," The Boston Globe, 2-18-2001.
"Felicia will serenade you from the piano or guitar, then she will knock you over with her vocal dynamism. Her voice shines with such warmth and richness, you'd think a nightingale had flown into the room." (Oen Kennedy, host, Natick Center for the Arts Open Mic)
"This fine singer and writer always has something new to show whenever she brings her powerful and sensuous voice to bear on one of her highly original folk/pop tunes." (Dana Westover, Johnny D's Restaurant and Nightclub, Somerville, MA)
"Felicia Brady's music mixes Texas charm and sensibility with Boston city living. Shewrites songs with wit, humor and honesty about everyday themes familiar to us all: vanity, love, loss, friendship and loneliness. Her performances make you feel as though you're hanging out with a good friend who not only understands you, but tells it like it is." (Courtney Hunter, free-lance writer, Denver CO)
"Felicia hails from Amarillo, Texas, and her music covers the ground between country and cooler Northeastern folk with the same open-minded enthusiasm that brought her to Boston. Listening to Felicia perform, we rejoice in the glorious uselessness of the "Ten Cadillacs" of her hometown; thrill in the moment of love when "Just One More Day" apart is near intolerable, and mourn love's passage with a wry front in "Missed the Chance". It is a rare performer who can take you from foot-stomping glee to mellow introspection in one short set: Felicia Brady is one." (Derek Fox)
"Felicia uses her considerable musical talents to create songs that aren't afraid to explore pain, but aren't defeated by it. The melancholic honesty of Felicia's lyrics is tempered by the core of hope and strength in her voice. Life is hard, her songs say, but it's possible to make something beautiful out of it." (Susan Thornberg)
By David Wildman, Globe Correspondent, 2/18/2001
Felicia Brady never likes to do the obvious thing. "When I start to write something that has already been done a million times, a steel door drops down and stops me," says Brady.
Although the first few songs on her new CD "Magazine Street," combined with the rainy day cover photos, suggest music that is peaceful and somber, Brady's adventurous melodies, precise but sensitive lyrics, and earthy Texas twang quickly whisk the listener off to unexpected places.
Brady, 36, lives in Cambridge but grew up in Amarillo, Texas, where she received a solid musical education in the public schools but played mostly classical piano. It wasn't until she came to the Bay State to attend Boston University that she really began to appreciate the music she had heard all around her while growing up.
"In Texas, country music was just a part of the culture," she explains. "When I moved up here I got more objective. I started to appreciate the storytelling aspect, the natural use of voice."
That ethic is reflected in cuts like "Sweet Sad Song," a poignant and gentle country waltz that tells the story of a woman whose husband has just died, and who asks a stranger to take his place, at least for the duration of one dance. There are also moments on the CD that are surprisingly raucous. "Put On My Face" is a Bonnie Raitt-style R&B romp that effectively satirizes how people can form their lives around the protection of their appearance. Lines like: "When I sleep, I sleep on my back so gravity keeps my face on track" and also the phrase, "I can't go out until I put on my face," which came from Brady's Texas grandmother. But Brady insists the song is not just about what women go through.
"It can be about guys too," she says. "I used to play with a 40-year-old guy who was also a former model, and he told me that he would never use his eyes when he smiled because it causes wrinkles." The song also features a killer blues solo by local guitarist Bertrand Lawrence of the New Orleans-style group The Jellyrollers. As with all the songs on the CD, the rhythm section is driven by two of the most versatile and most sought-after musicians in town - bassist Mike Rivard and drummer Larry Finn.
"The engineer for the recording, Eric Kilburne, suggested that I not try to just hire my friends," says Brady. "I knew that Mike had played on all the recordings of 'The Story.' I was really happy to work with him, and I continue to be inspired by what he did with the songs."
For live purposes, Brady now works with bassist Dan Fox, who also plays trombone in the group Made In The Shade, and who has been taking bass lessons from Rivard. You can see Felicia Brady and her band perform on Tuesday at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St., Davis Square in Somerville. Hewitt Huntwork opens the show, and tickets are $6. Call 776-2004 for more information. This story ran on page W8 of the Boston Globe on 2/18/2001.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Clouds Clear
2. Magazine Street
4. Put On My Face
5. Many Mercies
6. Just One More Day
7. Blues In My Way
8. Would Ya Wanna
9. Sweet Sad Song
10. Move Me