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Radio Stranger - Bare Boards - #Flyah Review


Americana artist Kelly Brightwell and folk-rocker Woody Moran have fused their talents, writing and performing together as Radio Stranger. This Portland, OR based act serves up catchy melodies and heartfelt messages with their collection of Eclectic Acoustic Pop tunes. Their sound is reminiscent of Birds of ChicagoThe Swell Season, and the UK band The Shires. Their 2nd EP, entitled CROSSTALK, was reviewed with high marks from Music Connection Magazine (Nov 2017) and they are included in Dec 2017 Music Connection's Best Unsigned Bands of 2017. They recently were awarded an Official Showcase at the Far-West Conference, also appearing as songwriter panelists alongside Beth Wood and Jim Bruno (Shawn Colvin) at the conference. Radio Stranger opened for David Wilcox's only Portland appearance in 2017. "Really good songs, great harmonies... you got pocket!" David Wilcox.
RADIO STRANGER CROSSTALK is Brightwell & Moran’s second EP of Eclectic Acoustic Pop. “Crosstalk” is the technical term for leakage between two audio circuits, such as two channels on a sound mixer. Released in the fall of 2017, this collection of songs showcases Kelly and Woody’s individual musical strengths, as well as the places where their talents have merged to become something altogether different. The subject matter also hints at the places where individuals and their stories overlap to reveal something new and unexpected.
Bare Boards has the feel of an Alison Krauss song written to a Marc Cohn composition. It’s a story song that follows the life of an old house -- from the inspiration of the builder, to an eventual state of disrepair, to the ultimate decision to “do the work that love requires” and rebuild it. The house also functions as a metaphor for the self, and asks us to take a good look at “what we’re made of”. Anybody’s Everything is a John Mayer-inspired Soft Rock tune that celebrates the early stages of a passionate all-consuming romance, and wonders how “love could be so easy after a lifetime alone”. Take It or Leave It comes out of the gate with a driving guitar riff and tight Eagles-era harmonies. It centers on a strong woman’s perspective in a troubled relationship, and her refusal to take on the burden of her partner’s insecurity: “Take me as I am, no strings attached.” Don’t Judge Me tells an Americana Noir tale of an unlikely savior complete with dark lyrics, haunting percussion and a good dose of Dave Matthews’ style. The story suggests that sometimes, in order to rectify the wrongs of the world, you have to do the unthinkable -- which just might cross the line “between what’s good and right”. After the Storm is a modern-day political parable wrapped in a catchy Bruce Hornsby inspired Pop/Rock Anthem. Using extreme weather as a metaphor, the question is asked: “Did you really think you’d get out unharmed?”


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