Monday, June 26, 2017 This Week's Paper


// "Reach Me"

Maurice the Fish Records has welcomed a new artist to its ever-increasing roster of standout local talent – musician/singer/songwriter Calen Tackett. One of his projects is heading up the four-piece rock band Amadon on lead guitar, vocals and songwriting. For those who want to get a taste of Tackett’s mad skills, Amadon’s new EP “Reach Me” illustrates beautifully just why this young man is such a significant talent.

The five tracks that make up “Reach Me” solidly showcase what Amadon is all about, each player tight and in sync with his band mates – Nathan Gendron on drums, Sean Daily on bass and Marlon Deppon on rhythm guitar. The music is often hard and bangin’, which could very well bring listeners to expect Tackett’s lead vocals to be growled and/or delivered harshly in some way, but that’s the alluring twist about Tackett’s style – he sings throughout the song, his strong voice making for a refreshing newness to Amadon’s sound. This collection of songs is extremely well written and played – melodic, but with an edge of angst, conflict and passion.

There are some sweet surprises on “Reach Me” as well, particularly on guitar instrumentation and vocals. Lead track “Hopeless” moves into a dramatic bit of neo-psychedelia at about the halfway mark, adding flavor and color to a kick-ass song.

“Over The Line” is straight-ahead guitar rock with a touch of fuzzy distortion to Tackett’s vocals. There’s a hint of a Led Zeppelin-ish vibe to the guitar work (a la “Trampled Under Foot”), then a more grinding rhythm guitar comes out of both speakers to bring it back to pure Amadon.

“Reach Me” is a slower, pendulous song featuring effects and background vocals that bring to mind the chanting of monks – appropriate in that the song is about receding down into one’s own darkness and a calling out for help.

“Alive” opens with a lovely piano intro then breaks into tuneful hard rock with a thick wall of five-string power chords. Tackett sings of seizing life by the horns. “This time I won’t just survive.”

Hearing this CD, it’s plain that Tackett has listened to a lot of music in his day. His writing reflects pop and rock music of the 70s, 80s and 90s that he no doubt grew up listening to, all mixed up and rolled up into a brand new package. You’ll hear shadows of familiar greats and tones of musical genres that reach from progressive rock, to some emo, to straightforward headbanging. Keep an eye on this musician, as he is bound to make more waves in his escalating music career.