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Lewes, Delaware
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May 5, 1995     Cape Gazette
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May 5, 1995
 

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38 - (Ap- E GAZE. TYE, Friday, May5 -M 11, 1995 Arts & Entertainmlent Steppln Out The Caulfields: Newark-bred band has stint at the Cork By l)enise M. Marshall Newark, Del. might be not be a place anyone would think of as the focal point for great rock 'n' roll, but it has inspired and shaped a band as talented as The Caulfields. The band, which has inked a big- label deal with A&M Records, will perform at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach on Saturday,  May 6. The band's roots are in Newark, where the group was formed in 1992 by longtime friends and musical collaborators John Faye (vocals and guitar), Mike Simpson (lead guitar) and Sam Musumeci (bass). "The Caulfields sort of formed out of the remains of another band called Beat Clinic," Faye said. Ritchie Rubini, the new drummer, joined after the completion of the band's debut release. After signing the band based on a demo tape and a single live audi- tion, A&M Records released The Caulfields first full-length record- ing, "whirliigig," in February. Faye defined a whirligig as "a spinning top or anything that's continually in motion." He added that the title reflects the playful, continuous motion of the new release. Produced by Kevin Moloney (Sinead O'Connor, Judybats and Ocean Blue), "whirligig" features a dozen toe-tapping and thought- provoking songs. With assistance on two tracks from Brace Kaphan, keyboardist and lap steel player for the American Music Club, The Caulfields have created a fully- realized debut. Faye said the band hopes to direct the attention of major recording companies to the First State. "Maybe our success will moti- vate them to check out some of the local bands in Delaware," Faye said. The record is dedicated to Ritchie's brother, Ruby Rubini, who was instrumental in getting the attention of A&M Records. Ruby died one month after The Caulfields auditioned for the recording company. The Caulfields blend pure guitar pop artistry with disarmingly hon- est, perceptive lyrics. The band merges insightful lyrics with hard- hitting pop songs to become another in a long line of innova- tive bands to emerge from Ameri- can college towns. "Newark has always been the hand's muse," Faye explained. "For being such a typical place, there are a lot of interesting stories there all the time. Also, the sup- port for original music unfortu- nately isn't always that strong, so that inspired our 'us against Newark' attitude." Musically, The Caulfields toe the fine line between classic quirky and hard-edged guitar rock. While the meticulous song con- struction and eatchiness of the songs bear resemblance to Elvts Costelio and Squeeze, the band's melodic sensitivity draws compar- isons to Toad The Wet Sprocket. At the same time, Simpson and Faye's guitars roar with the inten- sity of Sugar or Nirvana. While many bands try to find the common ground between pop hooks and hard-edged guitar, The Caulfields make it sound easy. The songs on "whirligig" are both immediately accessible and pulse with the power of high-octane rock 'n' roll. Faye described The Caulfields as "a violent pop band." The hallmark of The Caulfields' music is Faye's lyrics. Faye said many of his lyrics are derived through observations, while others are autobiographic material. Both intellectual and touching, Faye's words deal with subjects that go beyond most rock songs. Instead of well-worn subject mat- ter, Faye's lyrics tell stories that go beyond the obvious and touch even cynical observers with their frank eloquence. In dealing with weighty topics such as the loss of a parent ("The Day That Came and Went") and racial intolerance ("Disease"), Faye performs the tricky task of effectively writing about big issues while avoiding triteness. In "Disease," Faye sings "What do you do when your disease is some- one else's hatred; what do when your disease is what you are?" On more personal songs like "Awake On Wednesday" and "Rickshaw," Faye aptly writes about the restlessness and general transience of college town life. "A lot of the feelings in the songs are about feeling left in the dirt by people who are getting their lives together while you're just sort of lingering around town," Faye said. Faye vividly depicts yearning and dissatisfaction with sensitivity and perspective. His lyrics not only stand out as great rock lyrics; they also conjure images of great American fiction writers like Sherwood Anderson and J.D. Salinger. (The band's name is tak- en from the main character in "Catcher In The Rye.") Cranking out high-powered gui- tar sounds, "Where Are rhey Now,', is dynamic. "Devil's Diary" focuses on a person embroiled in a troubled relation- The Caulfields, who have released their first full-length recording on A&M Records, will per- form at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach on Saturday, May 6. Members of the Newark-bred band are (from left to right) Michael Simpson, Ritchie Rubini, John Faye and Sam Musumeci. ship and problems with self- esteem. "It's basically written from the point of view of the devil," Faye explained. "It's his diary entry." Since releasing their record in February, The Caulfields have been on tour promoting "whirligig" in major cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit and Cincinnati. They have also per- formed in the Carolinas and Cana- da. All of the band members live in New Castle County. The Caulfields have performed at the Bottle & Cork, and used to do an acoustic show at the Front Page (now the Iguana Grill Restaurant & Cantina) in Rehoboth Beach. Catch them when they return to the Bottle & Cork tomorrow night. In other entertainment news, Schultze's Island Restaurant & Bar in Rehoboth Beach has reopened. DJ Rob Grimes returns to Schultze's and plays on Wednesdays, Fridays and Satur- days. In Long Neck, the Crab Barn will welcome The Vegas band back for the weekend, Friday and Saturday (May 5 & 6). One of Delaware's best Motown and oldies groups, The Vegas band will perform each night from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. On Wednesday, May 10, enjoy an evening of blues with Blue Junction at the Rose & Crown Restaurant & Pub in Lewes. The three-piece band plays rocking originals and blues covers by such greats as Albert King, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Billboard Magazine awarded Blue Junction a certificate of achieve- ment for its song, "What Could It Be," during its sixth annual song contest last year. Here's what'S going on at other resort establishments: REHOBOTH BEACH Arena's Bar and Dell: 149 Rehoboth Avenue (in the Village by the Sea Mall); every Tuesday - acoustic jam hosted by Cliff Hillis; Friday, May 5 -Fun House Mirror; Saturday, May 6 - Tequila Mockingbird; Sunday, May 7 - Open Mind; Friday, May 12 - Grassdaddy; Saturday, May 13 - Stone Blue; Sunday, May 14 - Dave Glaser and Eddie Gates; Monday, May 15 - Open Mind. For information call 227-1272. Catcher's: 249 Rehoboth Avenue; every Friday and Satur- day - dining entertainment with Scotty from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For information call 227-1808. Club Potpourri: 316 Rehoboth Avenue; every Friday and Saturday - live jazz with Funch from 8 p.m. until midnight. For information call 227-4227. Fran O'Brien's: 59 Lake Continued on page 89