New Blues Recording" -- John
Macdonnell, WUWF-FM Pensacola, FL
Farley, who has played music with Ira Sullivan, has an album out on
Flat Baroque Records. It's called Pryvit Blewz and it's a winner. Good
luck with it Denis!" -- Kay
N. Peters, Miami Columnist - Kay's Scene
and Clever" -- -
Jewels Ross, Music Director, KDNK-FM
eclectic blend of soulful introspection" -- Edgar
Allan Poe IV, WDNA-FM, Miami, FL
Honest American Music" -- Big
Joe Fitz, WDST-FM, Woodstock, NY
enthusiasm comes through the music" -- Michael
Stock, WLRN-FM, Miami,FL
Notes - Southern
Dutchess News -- 1/11/89, by
John Darcy, Arts Editor
On 'Pryvit Blewz' Denis Farley offers a mostly acoustic mix of
blues and funky folk music, and the album is a rhythmic, smoky ride
on which showmanship - unfortunately The Word in entertainment today
- plays second fiddle to straightforward, honest music.
The musician, born in New York City, grew up in Beacon. The record earned him
the number 7 slot in Music-Machine Magazine's 1988 Critics Poll of local releases.
Farley's singing is understated slippin' and aslidin', in the vocal vein of
guitar great Ry Cooder (his milestone work of the '70's such as the album, "Into
the Purple Valley"). Farley's understatement makes the clever storylines
and humor of the songs that much more effective. The "pryvit" songs
that come to mind here are "I'll Never Drive Again," featuring guitarist
"Teaser's Blewz" is a rhythm & blues shuffle with a lazy, liquid
vocal, "Zeke and the Rat" is a medium tempo boogie featuring Harvey
Mandel on guitar. Mandel at one time picked for the group Canned Heat and British
Bluesman John Mayall.
On the tune "Mild Mannered Reporter," Farley displays his good-humor
chops in a Superman /Clark Kent send-up capped by a bluesy harmonica. "Well
it's a horned rim poont of view . . ."
Calvin "Fuzz" Samuel handles bass guitar chores on "Hustler's
Lament," a talking blues number rife with scatter-shot, Dylanesque imagery.
Samuel was a member of Stephen Stills' group Manassas in the '70's. (That unit
also featured ex-Byrd Chris Hillman.) Paul Harris, also a Manassas alumnus,
performs on "Hustler's Lament" as well.
Farley sails on saxophone in the number "Okefenoke," a swampy soiree
into southern bluesland.
"I'll Never Give Up On You" might be the masterwork here, lyrically.
Farley ruminates a relationship on its last legs, and a pledge on his part to
make it work, tells the lady in question that he's quit this, surrendered that, "I
gave up all the things you told me to / But I'll never give up on you."
Farley departs from his talk-sing technique on "My Poor Heart" in
favor of a down and dirty country blues, with a little falsetto thrown
in for good measure. And to solid effect.
"Broke and Disgusted" is a Fred Neil-like coffeehouse
folk blues that is essentially a slowed-down song of self-assessment.
This fine debut album is availbable at Book & Record stores
in the area.
In a recent note, Farley says the record is receiving radio airplay nationwide.
- Music Notes by John
Darcy, Arts Editor for the Southern Dutchess News
The aspiration of Beacon's Denis Farley" -- Bob
Pucci, Correspondent, Evening News 1988
at Chinese food, with a trace of the sniffles (allergies) Denis Farley
is talking about the economics of the music business and singing the
His album "PRYVIT BLEWZ" has been getting good air play. Its predominant blues
sound with a trace of country western thrown in speaks well for the talents
of its creator. Notable tracks include "Dreaming South", "Zeke and the Rat" and "Mild
Mannered Reporter." Farley suggest that promoting the album may be more difficult
than producing it.
After much research, mailings and telephone calls, Denis has literally written
the book for the promotion of works by blues performing artists. His Blues
Promotion Handbook will be published this year by the Williams File in Nashville.
He relishes his roles as promoter, producer, agent, song writer, song plugger
and publisher, although sometimes he wishes he could settle down, performing
at will, earning enough for a house, home recording studio, jeep and kids.
Denis did not have any scheduled gigs in the area on his recent visit to his
hometown, Beacon, but he did sit in with his friend Jim Eppard and the Crows
when they played at Sidetrakked, a bar in Poughkeepsie which features a monthly
As a musician he plays harmonica and works the saxophone but lately he's been
leaning more to the harmonica and a folk sound.
His next album "Letters of Transit" will be a folk album featuring two songs
with local inspirations: "Sandy Beach" and the "Ghost of Bannerman's Island."
"Sandy Beach started out as a little shuffle ad-libbed at the 1983 Pumpkin Festival," said
Denis. "When I was working on the melody I had Kenny Roger's rendition of the
Gambler stuck in my head. When I turned it around I discovered that it was a
variation on the Tennessee Waltz.
Honed and refined on the advice of Pete Seeger, Denis has recorded this song
of summer twice with Seeger and once with a full reggae band call Reggae Justice.
"The Ghost of Bannerman's Island" is an anti-war song about an enticing specter
who leads men and women to a bloody death. Denis recites the lyrics. They are
filled with finely tuned images and line so powerful grace. Denis the song writer
is also a poet.
When asked about the anti-war sentiments in his music, Denis offered some background
on his experience and the discovery of his avocation.
"I joined the army after being drafted for money and prestige, but I developed
a different perspective when I found myself in training to lead a combat squad," he
said. At Fort Benning, GA while in Officer Training School, he started to write,
exhibiting an acerbic wit and an ability to entertain. When he was given an essay
to write as punishment for not studying in study period, Farley expressed his
thoughts in a tract on the relative and private nature of time. When Denis recited
his essay to his commander and fellow officers in training it brought down the
house with laughter.
Denis is also a pitchman who tries to sell his songs to established artists.
A gospel tune "Dark Waters" for example is being considered by a well known
While working as a stage hand for U2 he tried to sell song to lead singer Bono.
Meeting the singer backstage Denis described the song. Bono extended his hand
to accept the demo tape. Unfortunately Denis did not have the tape in his pocket.
The music business is full of insulators, people who act as middle men between
talent and agent, agent and producer, etc. Denis has spent years learning the
game and fronting for himself. Jim Reynolds is the name of his promoter, agent,
who is never in the same room with Denis Farley the singer, song writer. They
are one and the same.
"When I go to work in the studio, I tend to be well organized. Studio time is
expensive, so I need to have a strong idea of how I want each piece to sound," Farley
Sometimes the sound is determined by the economics rather than esthetics. The
tracks on "PRYVIT BLEWZ" featuring a full studio sound with electric guitar
and bass with Denis on sax have a rich texture that would seem to encourage
the investment in a fuller sound.
By the time this piece is published, Denis will be on the road. He will write
a little, perform a little and promote a lot. Denis is ready.
Like a character in a song, he says, "It is important to look into the sun
each day and enjoy your accomplishments and dreams." -- Bob
Pucci, Correspondent, Evening News, Beacon, NY
Artists and side folks (band
- vocal, harmonica, saxophone, percussion
Harvey Mandel - guitar (Canned
Heat, John Mayall, Charlie Musselwhite, etc.)
'Fuzz' Samuel - bass (Dr John, Taj Mahal, Herbie Mann,
Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Stills, etc.)
Paul Harris - keyboards (B.B. King, Stephen Stills, Dion,
Al Kooper, etc.)
Jimmy Eppard - acoustic and electric guitar (Levon Helm,
the Band, Memphis Pilgrims, etc.)
Petito - bass (Dry Jack, a host of recordings
from his studio, NRS in West Hurley, NY)
'Slick' Aguilar - piano (Jefferson Starship,
Marty Balin, David Crosby, etc.)
Albert Williams - acoustic guitar
Harry Morgan - acoustic guitar
Dave Rimelis - acoustic guitar & violin
Scott Baggett - bass
Victor Schwarz - acoustic guitar
Kevin Hurley - acoustic slide
Moon - drums
Jim Brady - drums
Derek DeVries - percussion
'Smokin' Ed Hubbel - electric guitar
The Egg Cream Man - bass
at Bayshore, DB, Rainbow, Natural Sound, Mood Creations, The Ranch,
NRS, Little Big Horn, Sound Control, Rolling Thunder Mobile & The
Mosley's Bros' Berry Hill, TN studios.
Engineers: Buddy Thornton, Bruce Hensel, Mitch Cohen, John Klein, Tom Anthony,
Mike Roam, Scott Petito, Scott Baggett & The Mosley Bros.
Cover Illustration by Catherine Ann Ryder
Special thanks to Ed Bell at WLRN-FM and Karen Samuel in Bayshore, NY
Poduced by Denis Farley for Pouring Rain Music - 1987