Tandy The Lowdown 1997-2002

The lowdown on Tandy is that you probably haven't heard of them, but you should rectify that immediately. This NYC-based band, with songwriter Mike Ferrio at the helm, have been quietly making music for five years, released three albums and garnered a cult status in the UK with their undemanding roots/pop songs. The Lowdown is a retrospective of the group’s best work and includes two new songs, "Eastern Mountain Birds” and a cover of "Sister Golden Hair,” with Jim White guesting on vocals/banjo and harmonica. The bulk of Tandy's material is folksinger rock’n’roll in the tradition of Tom Petty or the Jayhawks. Songs like "The District Doctor” and "I Signed a Circle,” from Lichtenstein's Oriole, sound like vintage Springsteen, but overall the band's entire career comes off a bit like the trad/folk-era of the Waterboys, minus the Celtic concentration. Like head Waterboy Mike Scott, Ferrio's writing rarely strays from a four-chord approach and his rural air, crossed with a worldly poetic flare, gives the songs a certain light and grace. The simple approach Tandy has continued to bring to arranging and writing is akin to driving down a gravel road, one with very few curves and lots of beautiful scenery. (Gammon)