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The Bees at Grimey's, photo by John Brassil


Just when I thought the whole world had lost its mind. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bees. And not a moment too soon. Daniel Tashian is a pop jeweler. He only works with beautiful stones, and seems to have an endless reservoir of ideas about how to set them, how to present them in a way that will be irresistible to beauty seekers.

Here in The Bees, he and his deft cohorts--John Deaderick on bass and vocals, Jason Lehning on keybords and vocals, and David Gehrke on drums and vocals--take frames of a certain size and produce eleven

pure pop canvases (to mix metaphors) you can hold up to anything in the grand hall. You can hear a dozen or more synthesized influences that are the center or just the icing of these infectious songs. All the best stuff of the 70's pop songwriters, but Tashian and friends pluck freely from other decades as well, but like butterfly collectors, with a love and an understanding of what it is they're sharing with you.

DT wrote all the songs here, and had the assistance of producer and mixer Jason Lehning (whose father Kyle is one of the legendary studio souls of this town) on "We'll Go Walking" and "The Broadway Lights." We've seen and heard Tashian pop up on lots of other people's records, he's one of Nashville's secret weapons. Every time you run into him, he'll be playing or singing something different, something essential. In The Bees, he's the centerpiece, but without electric guitar--a lot of twelve string, a lot of fantastic singing, and superbly crafted songs and arrangements.

The Bees have been out doing some dates with Guster, and deserve a fine home for this release, if indeed any fine homes remain. It's a beautiful, almost old-fashioned ambience that abounds here, though beauty never truly goes out of style; it's just forced into the shadows by the brash and the crass, and the part of society that's willing to be led around by the nose. Not me, jack.

We love this record. We think you will, too.
• Frank Goodman

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