Mike Llerena ‘Absence & The Heart’ And The Voice Of Gainesville

Singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists like Mike Llerena are built for battle. They’re a lot like members of those civilian brigades you read about who will do everything to defend their homes, families, and crops from attack.
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Les Bohem Uncovers A Stagnant Darkness In ‘Moved To Duarte’

A map to Duarte, California might as well be a map to another dimension where regrets and grievances live. Perhaps Duarte has something similar to the hum in Taos where it drives some people crazy, or in this case, causes them to hold court with their demons. With Les Bohem’s Moved To Duarte, we find him moving in and out of a mosaic of motifs and life experiences which only he seems capable of mastering. Continue reading

The Liquoursmith’s ‘This Book Belongs To’ EP Is Great Tab Walking Music


You guys might make more money at a station with people in it.

I’ve been thinking about gastropubs ever since I got fired from one just a little over a week ago.

I’ve always had this fascination with that scene. Stuffed with tatted-beardos who wouldn’t be as fascinating otherwise, put a beardless untatted comedian next to a tatted, unfunny-beardo and see which one gets more laughs.

It’s edgy grown up stuff, recreating the last half of the nineteenth century. Craft beers and whiskey, right?

The Liquorsmiths are also craftsmen with the release of their very like-able EP, This Book Belongs To, like tree lights on a ceiling of a non-smoking alehouse with a hue that’s always inviting when you turn them on.

That’s what this is like through and through, starting with The Wallflowers/Counting Crows-like warmth of their opening track, Coy With Me, I care less for what IPAs due to the lining of my esophagus, I want one now goddammit!

That’s starting off easy, cause there’s a bend in the note that has a saloon piano-like quality to it, which is a good way to start.

Drew Thams doesn’t need to do much, the music is already a backdrop for his voice and it fits in perfectly.

Get Well Soon picks up with more excitement, a folk-rock song where he accents his delivery, weaving in and out of the arrangements before slamming the breaks before I’m done with my IPA, I’m already ordering whiskey.

I don’t think these dudes have a problem with the Wallflowers comparison, I’m sure they’re into it. Hey, I’m thinking about getting into them for once after all these years but, I’ll also add that they remind me of… ready for this, a low energy Grant Lee Buffalo who have more of a flare for the dramatic, no doubt because of Phillips.

At least a few of these guys were bartenders so this whole thing makes sense with playing it pretty easy.

My favorite is Iris’s Song because it works on so many levels while it’s still a pop song, a good example of what they can do as a band but then when we get to Thief, after the interesting opening, they seem to leave Thams looking for a place to land his harmony, while everyone else scrambles for the melody. Well, not really scrambling since these guys go at their own pace.

Devil I Do is quirky and cute, a little organ and the whimsical strum of the guitar doesn’t build much anticipation for the listener, that’s left up to Thams again.

Look, how much kneading of dough does one need to do to make artisan bread? I don’t know anything about crafting anything! All I know is that the well whiskey is good enough for me, which is probably why I don’t last at those bars.

Actually, it’s probably more because I don’t have tats or can’t grow a beard.

Alright, enough about me, I’ve never had that brand of Rye whiskey which I intend to sip on as Day By Day plays me out on this EP.

Again, the Liquorsmiths have a carefree attitude with that one because after a few in me, I’m singing along with everyone else at the end of it, toasting the band as they drift to the end and I figure out the repercussions of walking my tab.


Thams is “the moz” of the Liquorsmiths.

What, me jealous of tatted-beardos? No way man! Not since Louis C.K. made it clear that we spend the majority of eternity not being here, or maybe that’s just another way to say, “yes I am!” I mean, maybe that’s how a person gets an elite job and become an accepted member of society?

By the way, walking that tab doesn’t mean that’s all there is to hear from these guys. Actually, if you get their Google play/BandCamp version of this album, you’ll find that it has five additional tracks on it of unreleased acoustic songs like Blank Page which makes me wonder if these songs would sound better without the rest of the band.

Well, they’re two different dynamics which make the entire EP experience a hell of a whole lot better for me. I don’t feel too bad cutting that corner and out of sight of a bartender who might be looking for me.

These guys aren’t out there to blow minds. They’re out there swooning the service industry crowd. You know, those people who are sick of underaged, sick of the timid, they’re sick of amateur hour.

This is music for the overwhelmed, the one’s who toil over beer kegs and beer mats. It’s an easy order, something that doesn’t put people in the weeds. Alright, so while I’m scouting for other bars I can look like I’m not a part of, check them out on:


Official Site,




Google Play,