Farmer Dave and the Wizards of the West “Farmer Dave and the Wizards of the West”

Big Potato Records, 2021

Farmer Dave brings the healing spirit of California to these troubled times

Farmer Dave and the Wizards of the World review pictureFarmer Dave and the Wizards of the West self-titled album is a breezy slice of psychedelic West Coast Americana that takes the listener on a voyage with Los Angeles as a starting point and further reaches of the cosmos as a destination.  This release by Farmer Dave Scher who is a member of several West Coast bands such as Beachwood Sparks and Kurt Vile’s band is his first in 10 years with a new band.  The album is a culmination of living on the West Coast, playing in a variety of bands, and an exploration of a variety of music, art, and poetry.  The geography of California informs his music with his songs sounding soothing, warm, and woozy taking inspiration from the sun, surf, and nature.

The album was recorded live with his new bandmates with Scher providing vocals, lap pedal steel guitar, and keyboards and the Wizards of the West comprising Ben Knight (guitar), Brian Bartus (bass) both providing vocals also and Jud Birza playing drums.  The music on the album shares a free and easy ‘vibe’ which builds on the cosmic americana traditions of bands like The Byrds, referencing psychedelic bands like The Doors (most notably on ‘Ocean Eyes’), Flaming Lips, and Jane’s Addiction (on ‘Right Vibrations‘) while sounding fresh and adding something new to their musical influences.  Scher’s time spent as a DJ (where he was given his nickname) on a college radio station when he was younger was well spent absorbing a wide variety of music building upon this to create a unique sound.

The music combines americana with alternative rock using it as a base for a psychedelic, spiritual exploration with Scher acting as a tour guide around his beloved Los Angeles.  This is not a traditional roots-based americana release but his love letter to California spreading his joyful take on West Coast music will bring some light to your day if you give it a try as he sings on ‘Babe Got Plans For Me’“I know that love will surely guide the way for thee.”

7/10
7/10

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