Live at Wetlands

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If you didn't know that Soulfarm was a New York band, you might assume that they were from California. That's because lead singer Noah Solomon Chase, lead guitarist C Lanzbom, bassist Jay Weissman, and drummer Mark Ambrosino bring a California-like ambience to this CD, which was recorded live at Wetlands (a club in the Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan) in March 2000. Contrary to what its name implies, Soulfarm isn't a funk or R&B act. Their music is country-tinged pop/rock, and laid-back retro tunes like "Don't Stop Now" and "Let the Wheels Roll" sound like they could have been recorded in California in the '70s instead of New York in 2000. Soulfarm (formerly Inasense) thrives on a West Coast vibe, hinting at the Eagles on some songs and the Grateful Dead or Kingfish on others. In fact, one of the songs that they cover is the Dead's "Sugaree." A few of the tunes are instrumentals, and when Chase doesn't sing, the members of Soulfarm (who are joined by organist T Lavitz of Dixie Dregs fame) get a chance to improvise and incorporate elements of Middle Eastern, Indian, and African music. Live at Wetlands falls short of remarkable, but it's an enjoyable effort that fans of 1970s California rock should be aware of.

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