Written by Jim Cunningham
Three Fourteen, a Delaware County, PA-based band who are known locally for their robust live shows, just released its first full-length LP, Tumbleweed, (appropriately released on 3/14), and it is indeed a big sound.
This 12-track drop is an eclectic blend of songs that weave their way through several music genres and, at times, even cross-rock timelines. The title track is a well-written ballad with substance, reminiscent of the haunting 70’s style pieces that dominated the airwaves back in, well, the seventies.
Lead singer, Andy Hionides, reminded me of a young Jim Morrison on several of these tracks, but don’t interpret this as Three Fourteen being a throwback-sounding band.
Both the lyrics and composition of this collection of songs come off completely fresh, and the sound of the band itself, extremely original.
The track, “Come Around,” is a perfect example. Although the song reminded me of a well-crafted Dave Mason tune, the band’s approach to that distinct throwback rock style is both unique and quite refreshing.
“Mark As Read” comes at you with a pure reggae vibe and showcases the range that this four-piece band obviously carried into the studio during the lockdown, and through the recording process. The addition of the Hammond B3 organ sound works perfectly on this track but doesn’t dominate the song, or its lyrics.
“You Know,” probably my favorite track off of a seriously solid release, features a violin solo that works in sync perfectly with the song’s melody and vocals.
“I Can Feel” digs into the old Americana Blues sound but again, adds a modern feel to an old timeless genre. My first listen to this particular piece made me yearn for a festival stage and a couple of thousand party-goers. I’ll boldly predict that it will be a fan favorite when this band can finally play it to a large audience.
“Falling” gives us a taste of New Orleans rock, and again uses the B3 sound to its advantage.
The vibe of this LP release changes yet again with the track “This Side Up,” a bluegrass ballad for the most part, that hits its mark perfectly, with again, some timely fiddle work, and the perfect use of harmonica. There are at least 10 songs on this album that will be added to my personal shuffle, although I highly recommend listening to it in its entirety first.
There is enough going on in this release to treat it as its own shuffle playlist, and for me at least, the order of play wasn’t as important as with other releases. So what’s the bottom line here? The bottom line is, Tumbleweed is a solid release from an obviously good band that has taken this pandemic downtime to write and record a high-quality album. It’s well worth checking out. I found it highly refreshing, and the first time through, highly unpredictable, in all the right ways.
Connect with Three Fourteen