We're About 9,
(Circa 9, 2003)

I first heard We're About 9 when they were part of the emerging artist showcase at the 2002 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. At the time they were a relatively unknown band, but that was about to change. At that festival fans voted them as "most wanted." Since then, this trio from Baltimore, Md., has been attracting a lot of attention on the northeast folk circuit.

Their third CD, Engine is full of the beautiful vocal harmonies, quirky, thoughtful songwriting and passionate singing that made their live show so enjoyable. We're About 9 is Brian Gunderdorf (vocals, acoustic guitar and piano), Pat Klink (vocals, guitar and mandolin) and Katie Garybeal (vocals, guitar and bass). All three members share in songwriting duties. Their sound and songwriting could be compared to bands like the Nields and Barenaked Ladies.

The CD opens with "Writing Again," a song about concatenation, where the writer is reflecting on a past relationship. "Hijo" is a good example of the band's quirky lyrics. It was written from the perspective of a book that can talk. "Move Like Light" is a nice uptempo song about getting out of town, featuring Katie's vocals. "Another Love Song" takes on the flavor of a sad country love song. "Albany" has lyrics that take on a unique perspective from a convenience store worker.

The CD's only cover is a beautiful a cappella version of Richard Shindell's "Money For Floods." "Reading You" and "Sketches For Alania" are also examples of thoughtful offbeat lyrics combined with beautiful melodies. The CD closes with "Weight of the Ocean," a song about the last day on Earth.

On Engine, We're About 9 gives us some of the best of what contemporary folk music has to offer -- good musicianship and great harmonies combined with thoughtful, unique songwriting.

- Rambles
written by Dave Townsend
published 17 April 2004