This Tandy two-fer CD set reissues self-released albums from 2005 and 2006, revealing the night-and-day moods of songwriter Mike Ferrio.
Singer and songwriter Mike Ferrio's band Tandy self-released each of these albums, which the oddly named label 00:02:59 has now issued as a two-fer. This makes for an interesting complement, pairing 2005's To a Friend's laid-back, folksy vibe with the bad-mood blues and Southern rock of 2006's Did You Think I Was Gone?. The latter is darker and more immediately compelling, with lyrical references to Bowie and Iggy on album opener "I'm the Werewolf", and on the reverb-drowned "Misery Boys". The disc has the wide-open feel of a 1970s recording, with warm-yet-spacious production. To a Friend, meanwhile, is a much more amiable album of pretty Americana. The violins have become fiddles, and Ferrio's troubled rasp here is, instead, whiskey-warm and well worn. Even though the two releases have commonalities -- biggest among these the voice of Mike Ferrio -- their tones are quite different. To a Friend could fit snugly in the same CD changer as Greg Brown and makes for nice mid-afternoon music. Did You Think I Was Gone?, on the other hand, should be brought out for brooding night listening, maybe as a warm-up for Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. In either setting, Mike Ferrio is a solid songwriter with a compelling voice and a good band of musicians surrounding him. Sure, these two discs may play like night and day, but that's the way world spins. In both cases, Tandy has you covered.