From Good Homes
Take Enough Home
First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2002, Volume 9, #11
Written by John Metzger
Itís always sad to see oneís favorite band pack it in and move on to other things, and thereís little doubt that From Good Homes left its numerous East Coast followers a bit dismayed when the group held its farewell concert in August 1999. Fortunately for its fans, there is plenty of material sitting in the bandís vaults, and its latest release Take Enough Home serves as the first installment in a promising new series of concert recordings. Of course, thereís no better place to start than with From Good Homeís farewell concert, the highlights of which appear on this new album.
Most notable is the head-spinning, open-ended jam Where Songs Begin. The appropriately titled tuneís snaky guitars, shimmering keyboards, soaring saxophone, and serpentine rhythms slip and slide in an organically primal dance that borrows the Grateful Deadís stylistic approach, if not its sound. Not surprisingly, just a few years prior to its demise, From Good Homes tagged along on the Fall tour of Bob Weirís Ratdog, and the fit proved to be a natural one. After all, From Good Homes took a similar, albeit more pop-influenced approach to music ó mixing jazz, bluegrass, and Dylan-esque folk much like the Grateful Dead had done for decades.
If anything, however, Take Enough Home highlights the songwriting prowess of frontman Todd Sheaffer. Heís since gone on to lead Railroad Earth ó a band thatís certainly bound for many great things ó to two stellar albums, but his contributions to From Good Homes demonstrated his early knack for penning solid lyrics, even if some of them also lacked the maturity of his later projects. Thatís not to say that there arenít some choice nuggets here ó Boulevard of Dreams is a tender selection of hopes lost and found that is underscored beautifully by saxophonist Dan Myers, while Scudderís Lane takes on a Celtic lilt that marries The Waterboys with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Fortunately, whenever the lyrics do falter, the music more than picks up the slack, allowing the bandís tight-knit infusion of jammed-out, jazzy pop to lead the way. Indeed, Take Enough Home doesnít always represent the finest moments of From Good Homesí career, but it does at least show that the end was a fun-filled occasion ó more joyful celebration than somber requiem.
Take Enough Home is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box