Bradley's Almanac

Mp3s: Drew O’Doherty

Posted on June 29, 2006 at 9:05 am | No Comments

I first saw Drew O’Doherty live during his days as the second guitarist with now-defunct Boston band The Ivory Coast. While Drew wasn’t the frontman (that’d be Jay, now of The Sea Navy), and I’m not aware of how involved he was in the band’s songwriting (their excellent disc ‘Clouds‘ came out in 2001 on Polyvinyl), his playing and on-stage energy was, for me, an integral part of the band. And while he was only one of Ted Leo’s Pharmacists for a relatively short time, he brought that same energy to their live performances, and I got a little thrill watching him rock out on Conan O’Brien back in 2003.

Post-Ivory Coast, I was glad to see Drew’s name appear solo on local live calendars, even happier to discover that he was as talented a songwriter as he was a guitarist. I didn’t know what to expect the first time I caught him, and was immediately drawn in by his gentle acoustic playing, his warm voice, and his somber songs that evoked a little Eitzel, a little Springsteen, a little Tweedy. Some lyrics may have come from his past, some told the sad yet beautiful tales of others, but all were both intimate and captivating.

The songs he’s been playing for awhile finally take recorded form on Drew’s just-released debut, the 11-track ‘Starts’. While the disc is self-released on his own Twenty-Four Teeth Records for now, I can’t imagine it won’t see a re-release on a larger label sometime soon… it’s a fully-realized and gorgeously produced piece of work. Some of the Boston area’s most talented players add to the affair: Drummers Tom Polce (ex-Letter to Cleo) and Zach Barocas (ex-Jawbox) on some songs, Jeff Goddard (ex-Karate) adds some trumpet, and cellist Jonah Sacks (Empty House Cooperative) sits in as well. Journeyman bassist Joe McMahon plays both the electric and the upright, and there’s even some banjo from likely-related Hugh O’Doherty. Even though I love the simple beauty of Drew’s solo live sets, his guests contributions make the album so much more than a one-guy-and-his-guitar project.

Drew’s MySpace page has a few songs for you, including a cover of Sabbath’s ‘Changes‘, a Christmas cover from the old Rudolph special, and two great songs from ‘Starts’. He’s also given me the ok to host an exclusive mp3 from the album, the third track, called ‘Feathers‘…

Mp3: Drew O’Doherty – ‘Feathers

A couple weeks back, Drew opened up for David Bazan, and I offer that seven-song set up for you here. Six songs from ‘Starts’, and an unrecorded closer with a working title of ‘Oh, E’. Enjoy…

It was thunder that woke me last night, but it was you who wouldn’t let me sleep
– from ‘Saturday Suit

Drew O’Doherty

Live at TT the Bears
Cambridge, MA
Monday, June 19th, 2006

01. Angels Live In My Town
02. Philadelphia Song
03. Saturday Suit
04. On Greenpoint
05. Oneway
06. Christmas Or Columbus
07. Oh, E

To order your own copy of Drew O’Doherty’s ‘Starts’ (which includes layout & photo contributions from Drew’s old bandmates Nick Hubben and Jay Cox, along with violinist David Michael Curry), send 12 bucks through PayPal to [paypal -at-], or drop an email to [orders -at-] and he’ll send you non-PayPal ordering deets. Better yet, if you’re in the Boston area, catch him on July 8th at the Lily Pad, or on July 30th at TT the Bears in Cambridge and get one from the man himself. He’ll be playing with Levi Fuller and Buick Audra at the Lily Pad, and with Nicolai Dunger and Jim & Jennie (from The Pinetops) at TTs.


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