August and Everything After by Counting Crows

Today’s Essential Record is August and Everything After by Counting Crows.

The 90's via the 70's.

The 90’s via the 70’s.

August reveals a restless, confident band of songwriters who are steeped in the rock tradition yet anxious to extend it.  It’s easy to hear the group’s influences – the Americana-drenched imagery and multi-instrumental explorations of The Band (“Omaha”); the entrancing soulfulness of Van Morrison (“Mr. Jones”); the lonesome Joshua Tree-era U2 (“Ghost Train”); but it’s much harder to specify the place from which music like this comes.  And while the songs are almost always about individuals left wanting and lost, it is equally difficult to pigeonhole the Counting Crows’ sound.

In the 11 songs on August and Everything After, Counting Crows communicate complex (and often desperate) emotions honestly and intelligently without resorting to clichés or cheap sentimentality.  That a young band achieves so much on its first album is an event well worth celebrating. 

Rollling Stone Magazine Review, October 1993

Matt Malley’s bass playing with Counting Crows is often overlooked.  His lines are tightly written – there are no extraneous notes on this record.  Outstanding.  Check it out.

“Round Here”

“Omaha”

“Mr. Jones”

“Perfect Blue Buildings”

“Anna Begins”

“Time and Time Again”

“Rain King”

“Sullivan Street”

“Ghost Train”

“Raining in Baltimore”

“A Murder of One”