THE MIKE FARLEY BAND
WHERE WE STAND
REWRITE HISTORY–SUBTLE NO MORE–HELPLESS–PAY YOUR DUES–I DON’T KNOW–BACK TO BEFORE–EVIL WOMAN–WEIGHT OF THE WORLD–RAIN
Around the turn of the century, the Mike Farley Band was one of Cleveland, Ohio’s hottest commodities, sharing the stage with the likes of Thorogood, The Pretenders, and Huey Lewis, to name a few. The “Cleveland Free Times” named them the city’s Best Rock Band two years running. But, “life is a circle, not always perfectly round,” and the band members moved to other towns to follow other pursuits. Mike even moved here to Nashville for a time, before settling in Madison, WI, and starting his own successful enterprise, Michael J. Media. The music never left their souls, tho, and they have reunited and just released “Where We Stand.”
They’ve not missed a beat since their heyday, and this album is stone proof. The set starts with a wistful, midtempo slice of roots-rock where Mike and the fellows ponder what might have been if they had a chance to “Rewrite History.” It has a cool, REM vibe. “I Don’t Know” has some sweet harmonies from everyone in the story of a couple coming to grips with love and its constant flux. When that “seven-year affair busts at the seams,” you can always go “Back To Before,” because “all it takes is time.” Scott Martin’s keyboard riff floats throughout this one, and it has a vintage Cars feel.
We had two favorites, too. “Pay Your Dues” blasts right outta the speakers as Mike takes a shot at corporate greed, where “hypocrites and fools are changing all the rules!” And, it takes a strong band to cover an Electric Light Orchestra staple, but the fellows really knock “Evil Woman” outta the park, with excellent guitar re-creations of that classic riff.
It wasn’t that long ago that Drew Carey told everybody that would listen that “Cleveland Rocks!” Then, they got the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and now there is a triumphant return of some of their favorite sons, The Mike Farley Band with “Where We Stand!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.