2003 album from The George Usher Group!
Third album for the Parasol label from New York City pop artist George Usher (a former member of The Bongos, Beat Rodeo, and The Schramms) with his Group, recorded in NYC and mixed in North Carolina with Mitch Easter at Fidelitorium Recordings.
Using a musical vocabulary sure to resonate with folks into the power pop/roots rock sound, Usher scripts classic melodies and storied arrangements recalling the glory days of The Beatles, The Left Banke and The Beach Boys; and the crisp pop lassitude of the latest offerings by Luna.
A sublime collection of lyrical pop anthems, shimmering ballads and sepia-toned Americana odes resplendent with Byrds-ian guitar-chiming, and in fact George's vocals have some serious doppelganger action with Byrdsman Roger McGuinn.
Fire Garden is Usher's East Coast Power Pop songwriting smarts (akin to fellow guitarpopsmith Tommy Keene) blended with classic California folk rock rootsiness and whip-smart production.
For fans of Beatles (Harrison), Byrds (McGuinn), Zombies, Luna, Left Banke, Tommy Keene, and Laura Cantrell (who used George's song "Not The Tremblin' Kind" as the title track for her criticallly acclaimed debut album).
Uncut Magazine: "Singer/songwriter George Usher has been on the NY scene since the late '70s, playing with everyone from Bongos leader Richard Barone to roots rockers Beat Rodeo. With all this activity, he didn't get around to a proper solo recording career until the mid-'90s. Fire Garden, Usher's third lp for Parasol, is as close as one can get to a textbook definition of "power pop." It's all there- Byrdsian guitar riffs, high vocal harmonies, the works. But Usher gives it all a modern cast, adding punch while maintaining the dewy-eyed, sun-dappled sweetness essential to great pop."
Village Voice: "One of New York's best pop craftsmen."
Alternative Press: "A nineteenth century Romantic poet inhabits the body of a Beatles 'n' Byrds pop-rocker... Light the candles."
All Music Guide: "They just don't write pop songs like George Usher's anymore jangly, sparkling and effortlessly irresistible, his music is a throwback to another era, with rich melodies and sugar-sweet arrangements harking back to the glory days of the Beach Boys and the Left Banke (with a tip of the hat to the Byrds as well) & a virtual primer in pop craftsmanship."
Tower Pulse: "Veteran tunesmith (and former Bongos/Beat Rodeo/Schramms sideman) Usher is one of America's foremost unsung pop auteurs.... By passing the garage entirely, Usher uses Pet Sounds/Odessey and Oracle vintage baroque-pop as a jumping off point for his evocatively poetic lyrics, heart tuggingly haunting melodies and complex, yet oddly hummable arrangements. His nimble band deftly navigates the turns and Usher's keening voice is well suited to the sweeping hooks and humanistic sentiments of the tunes."