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The Weepies


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk, folk/pop

Status:

Most recent release, Sirens (2015)

See also:

The Weepies' site

The Weepies' Facebook page

Wikipedia's entry for The Weepies

Comparisons:

Maybe something like a mixture of Dar Williams and Natalie Merchant vocally over music that's a combination of James Taylor and Patty Griffin's softer side, with a dash of The Innocence Mission or the Indigo Girls. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Deb Talan and Steve Tannen are singer-songwriters with solo albums to their credit (3 for her, 2 for him). Together they are The Weepies. On NPR, they said the name is one they used to describe friends who would cry at movies, the ones you feel comfortable crying in front of. Their music isn't sad, or even confessional, but there's a definite intimacy to it.
     I would describe The Weepies as the musical equivalent of lying under a warm blanket, sipping hot chocolate and cuddling up in front of a fireplace. They make quiet, gentle folk-pop music with beautiful harmonies and simple lyrics that make interesting imagery. Their music just makes me happy. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Deb Talan's been a regular on the Boston folk scene for the past five years. She caught the ears of The WB's music supervisors (you heard her on Dawson's Creek and Felicity), the writers at Acoustic Guitar magazine (collecting a Homegrown CD Award) and the folks at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival.
     Steve Tannen started out in NYC, and folks took notice. Performing Songwriter gushed over both of his CDs. He's won enough songwriting awards to give me writer's cramp typing them all out, and he plays guitar pretty darn well too. (shrub@mac.com)

The Weepies are Steve Tannen and Deb Talan, both singer/songwriters in their own right who have forged a musical partnership that is vastly more than the sum of its parts. Their music just plain makes me happy—even the slow ballads have an optimism to them that is bolstered by Steve and Deb's gorgeous harmonies. (meth@smoe.org)

Comments about live performance:

Just got back from seeing The Weepies play in, of all places, Milford, Connecticut. Live, they bring everything up to another level entirely.
     Right now their band is a six-piece extravaganza featuring Meghan Toohey (a name familiar to followers of the Boston scene of the past several years) on guitar, as well as drums, bass and keys, with Steve and Deb playing guitar and singing. Or at least trying to. Tonight Steve was suffering from a nasty bout of laryngitis that made him unable to do anything more than emit the occasional Tom Waits-like croak, poor thing...so they'd cobbled together a set list consisting of every song in their catalog that Deb sings lead on (with emphasis on the latest CD), as well as a couple Deb Talan solo tunes. Steve tried to make noises, but mostly Meg Toohey jumped in and took his parts wherever she could. Some of the songs were clearly new to the band at large, so Steve would conduct while Deb sang with a "oh my god what's about to happen" look on her face. There were no train wrecks, though, and all in all it was a very enjoyable show.
     Their 2006 tour is almost over, but I highly recommend seeing them next time they come to your town. (12/7/06, meth@smoe.org)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


Happiness

Release info:

2003—7 86851-1320-2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deb Talan
Steve Tannen

Guest artists:

Jim Henry—electric guitars, mandolin, baritone, lapsteel, dobro
Richard Gates—bass
Jeff Berlin—drums
Marco Panascia—upright bass (2)

Produced by:

Steve Tannen and Deb Talan

Comments:

I absolutely adore this album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Say I Am You

Release info:

2006—Nettwerk—0 6700 30466 2 6

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deb Talan
Steve Tannen

Guest artists:

Frank Lenz—drums
Erik Klass—drums (9)
Whynot Jansveld—bass; electric guitar (10); baritone guitar (4)
Malcolm Gold—bass (11)
Milo DeCruz—bass (2)
Meghan Toohey—keyboards (4, 13); most other electric guitars

Produced by:

Steve Tannen and Deb Talan

Comments:

Another charmer. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Their second album, Say I Am You came out on Nettwerk early this year, and it's been in constant residence in my car CD changer ever since. It's definitely in my top 3 releases of 2006, no question. (meth@smoe.org)


Hideaway

Release info:

2008—Nettwerk—0 6700 30777 2 9

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deb Talan—vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, percussion
Steve Tannen—vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, percussion

Guest artists:

Frank Lenz—drums, keyboards
Whynot Jansveld—bass, electric guitar
Meghan Toohey—electric guitar
Steve Walsh—additional guitars (14)
Brad Gordon—keyboards; horns (14)
John Deley—keyboards
Oliver Kraus—strings (6)

Produced by:

Deb Talan & Steve Tannen

Comments:

It's been a long time since I had to listen to a new album twice in a row. Hideaway is much more engaging than the Weepies' last album, Say I Am You (which I like but have never really learned to love). It's closer in sound to the sunny and sparkly music of their debut Happiness (which I adore), though different—generally mellower, maybe a bit more assured. A definite winner. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I really like what I've heard of Hideaway, but it definitely sounds to me like their most mellow, introspective effort to date—definitely not sunny and sparkly!
     I highly recommend it, though—The Weepies are truly great all around. (meth@smoe.org)

How fantastic was Say I Am You? I guess I had huge expectations for Hideaway after that release. Unfortunately, there just aren't as many catchy, memorable songs on this album. It lacks the charm and innocence of their previous release. "Old Coyote" is a strong track, but I was bored with the rest of the album. (lasherboy@gmail.com)


Be My Thrill

Release info:

2010—Nettwerk—0 6700 30890 2 9

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deb Talan and Steve Tannen—singing, guitars, Wurlitzer, keyboards

Guest artists:

Frank Lenz—drums and percussion, vibes, synths
Tony Levin—bass (1, 3, 6, 7, 12, 14)
Larry Klein—bass (2, 5, 9, 11, 13)
Whynot Jansveld—bass (8, 10)
Eli Thomson—bass (4)
Megan Toohey—electric guitars
Brad Gordon—organ, piano, Wurlitzer, mellotron, and various exotic stringed instruments
Oliver Kraus—violin, viola, cello (1, 5, 14)
Colbie Caillat—background vocals (4)

Produced by:

The Weepies

Comments:

My favorite album of the year. It's just catchy, fun, folk-pop goodness. And it makes me smile. Even the videos for "Be My Thrill" and "Be My Honeypie" make me smile. It's not a perfect album, however. The rock song "How Do You Get High?" is a head-scratcher as it disrupts the sound and flow of the album, but the final two songs get things back on track. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Sirens

Release info:

2015—Nettwerk—0 6700 31068 2 5

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Steve Tannen—vocals, guitars, programming, keyboards, keys, piano, percussion
Deb Talan—vocals, keyboards, synths, piano, guitars, keys, ukulele, tines, Wurlitzer, programming, mellotron, percussion

Guest artists:

Pete Thomas—drums (2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14); percussion (2, 9, 12, 14); shaker (7)
Frank Lenz—drums (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13); percussion (2, 4, 6, 8–10, 13); background vocals, tines (6, 8)
Matt Chamberlain—drums (2, 9); percussion (2)
Eli Thomson—bass (2, 9)
Gerry Leonard—electric guitar (2, 4, 6, 8, 14, 16)
Oliver Kraus—strings (3, 11, 14)
Steve Nieve—piano (3)
Jon Flaugher—bass (4–6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)
Brad Gordon—piano (4)
Rami Jaffee—organ (4, 14); keyboards (11); omnichord (14)
Vartan Babayan—percussion (7)
Tony Levin—bass (7)
Whynot Jansveld—bass, keyboards (8)
Phil Chen—banjo (9)
Andrew Baham—trumpet & solo (9)
Stephen Lands—trumpet (9)
Rex Gregory—alto sax & solo (9)
Roderick Paulin—tenor sax (9)
Michael Watson—trombone (9)
David Torkanowsky—horn direction and arrangements (9)
Sebastian Steinberg—bass (12)
Meg Toohey—electric guitars (14)

Produced by:

Deb Talan & Steve Tannen

Comments:

Another gem of a folk-pop record with a Tom Petty cover ("Learning to Fly"), a dusting of ska ("Early Morning Riser"), and an attempt to emulate Cole Porter that indeed sounds like it comes from a much earlier era ("Fancy Things"). (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (valrichardson@igc.org)


Further info:

The Weepies' song "Same Changes" appeared in the film Morning Glory and was released as a single.

Compilation work includes:

  • "I Was Made for Sunny Days" on Lilith: The Celebration of Women in Music (2010)
  • "Can't Go Back Now" on the Adam soundtrack (2009)
  • World Spins Madly On" on The Road Mix: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 3 (2007) and on the Friends With Money soundtrack (2006)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-03-26 15:55:54.
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