They Don't Write Songs About Trains Anymore
Artese 'N Toad Artese 'N Toad are Americana songwriters based in the US now working on their sixth full length CD. "They Don't Write Songs About Trains Anymore" was born from a song written in 2001 called 'Daddy's Old Train Box'. The song is a story about the passing of the old toy train set in the basement from father to son. When M.T.H. Electric Trains President heard the song, he asked to have it for his train sets. He also suggested that a CD of new train songs be written. It was an easy task for duo who wrote the Americana themed project in just a few weeks. What the duo didn't know was that there was a worldwide fan base waiting for rail related songs and stories. The CD was a hit! Now with US retail and digital distribution in full swing the CD continues to sell year after year. In 2005 the success of "Trains Volume I" enabled the duo to write and record the just as popular "Trains Volume 2." "Trains" is a must for anyone who appreciates acoustic music and a good tale. While some songs are filled with historical detail, others suggest train themes and are more about events and people around trains. The sound is pure Americana, conjuring the Sun sound of the 50's and Folk sound of the 70's-all done without letting the music get in the way of the lyrics. Artese N Toad has since gone on to release two more projects in 2008. "The Americana Christmas Project" and "Two American Tunes". Both CD's present the Americana sound in other themes. The duo even performs Paul Simon's "American Tune" on the latter project, a song they have been performing live for years. The Christmas CD yielded a mini-hit on i-Tunes in 2007 with over 3600 downloads of the song "Christmas Street" in less than 30 days. Ole Country Home Review by Randy Bennett A while back, J.C. Watts made the now oft quoted observation that, 'Character is doing what is right even when no one is looking.' Musically, there needs to be a phrase for 'playing, singing, and writing traditional country music even when no one is paying. ' In the late fifties and early sixties, the phrase would have been folk music. Recently, the buzzword is Americana Music. Labels notwithstanding, the latest offering form Artese n' Toad, They Don't Write Songs About Trains Anymore, is a ten track tribute to what used to be. Nashville has not made it easy to be a traditional country artist recently. With the exception of Brad Paisley, who in addition to extraordinary talent needed the backing of the biggest Music Row heavyweights to crack the doors on Music Row, anyone playing traditional country music is on the outside looking in. They Don't Write Songs About Trains Anymore is a traditional country/Americana album, based around the previously released single, Daddy's Old Train Box. Perry Artese and Tom 'Toad' Dimeo have crafted an album embracing the history, legend, and stories of America and it's connection to trains. With the backing of Producer Daoud Shaw and a group of musicians that channeled Owen Bradley, Fred Foster and Sun Studios through their instruments, Artese n' Toad have a project on their hands that they can, to say the least, be proud of. In addition to a respectful and straightforward cover of City Of New Orleans, the heavyweight champion of train songs, Artese n' Toad have penned nine contenders of their own. They deliver a formidable one-two punch with the previously released Daddy's Old Train Box, and Tonight I'm Gonna Get My Christmas Train. Both songs are a nod to the tradition of model trains and Christmas, as well as fathers, sons, and the rebirth and passing of tradition from generation to generation. Tie That Whistle Down is the strongest track here both lyrically and musically. Producer Daoud Shaw unleashes the boys in the band on this one, and the result, musically, is as close to the old Sun Country Sound as anyone has been in a long time. Lyrically, it is as strong as any story song that I have heard since the mid seventies masterpieces of legends like Tom T. Hall, Lew Dewitt, and Don Reid. Just as strong musically is the title track. The key to this album is the integrity with which each track has been crafted. The same care and consideration is displayed on all ten tracks, by everyone involved in the project. That is also something that has not been standard since the mid seventies. None other than Grand Ole Opry 'Whisperin' Bill Anderson has had positive reactions to this album, and that is a true Music City Heavyweight. Right now, there is a battle raging in country music. The battle is between the listeners, country radio, and Music Row. I guess it is really just a flare up of a battle that has been going on forever. The difference now is that the internet has made it harder to keep grass roots albums down and out. To say country music right now is pop influenced would be the understatement of the last ten years. Somehow, these pop influenced, office created acts continue to be showered with awards and contracts, while the listeners make traditional albums like O Brother Where Art Thou number one in the country, without any support from country radio. This is good news for acts like Artese n' Toad. No, they will not have the number one album in the country, but more people will hear them than would have heard them ten years ago, and that is good for everyone. I wrote that this is a battle, and this project carries the traditional/Americana banner well. I will be listening as Artese n' Toad come out swinging, cheering them on all the way down the track.