how to order our CD's The Niagara-on-the-Lake Rhythm Project - Reviews how to order our CD's

Recent (Jan/06) CD reviews by freelance writer and radio DJ Diane Wells

"Highly enjoyable acoustic instrumental set from these talented Northeners. Full of life, creative and delivers a mellow good time without any sort of new age pandering. Delicious. "
-Don Campau, 91.5 FM KKUP in Cupertino California

" For those of you who aren't familiar with Steve Goldberger and the Fringe Locals, don't let what he deems his "shameless self-promotion" deter you from discovering one of the Nancinet's crown jewels of singer/songwriters, musicians, poets and the like.

Where I was actually going with that was to give two huge thumbs up for what I thought Steve G.'s latest CD was, and now he's recorded another! And more original work, eh? If you haven't checked out Niagara-on-the-Lake Rhythym Project, Steve's now OLD new CD, it is NOT one to miss! I'm not one usually for instrumentals, especially an entire CD full, because like most of us here, I'm about lyrics. But I am about Steve, because he's just a lovely man, so I had to have a copy. I had to drive up to Chattanooga one afternoon and decided that would be some good road sounds, so I plugged it in and sighed, not particularly looking forward to the trip. Was I ever taken by surprise by what turned out to be, to my ears, a fresh, fresh sound with a musical signature that just kept me going all the way to Chattanooga and back to my parents' house in Rome. (I even gave it the penultimate musical test -- sent it to work in Gordon's bag. A couple of weeks went by before I had to say, "Hey, where's my CD?" Long story medium long, it was still at work and, at that moment, loaded into his player. This is kind of like the old commercial, "Let's get Mikey -- he won't eat it --he hates everything!" Gordon had been playing it over and over.) "
-Cate, in Atlanta

" Steve, I would have written to you sooner except I have been too busy enjoying the N-O-T-L Rhythm Project cd I was lucky enough to cop. Congratulations. It was obviously a labour of love and it shows. Really nice stuff. Evocative of so many things. Ry Cooder, a Marseilles waterfront b˘ite, elements of The Dead Man Walking Soundtrack (I'm thinking of the Eddy Vedder/Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaboration) and Appalachia.. I'm afraid I'm not as well versed in "World Music" as you guys are so I can't identify all the influences but let me repeat my congratulations. I'm also very much enjoying Come From The Heart. As you say we are pretty much coming from the same place musically and as I told you on Saturday I love your choice of material."
Bill Colgate, Toronto

"The "Rhythm Project" is a masterpiece. Truly an extension of growing and changing musical personalities expressing themselves within the trust of the group. Makes for a wonderful listening experience. Seems that no matter what you undertake - your love of it all shines right through - what a joy! "
- C. Daniels, Editor - Oddity's End Inc., Toronto, Ontario

"In the pastoral setting of Niagara-on-the-Lake, it is sometimes difficult to imagine any sort of culture that doesn't jive with the tourist town's corporate vision of a charming and historical destination. Steve Goldberger's subversive project is a collection of music that showcases the talents of many of the fringe musicians in NOTL. The sounds on the disc are beautiful free flowing instrumental illustrations of life in tourist heaven and they were all recorded and mixed on the fly, the old fashioned way.
A sort of mash up of folk, soft rock and jazz combined in the asthetic of a jam band, is a good way to describe most of the music on the album. But for a more accurate description, get your hands on this disc and wrap your head around the sounds."

- Counterspins, PULSE Magazine, St. Catharines, Ontario

"This is a nice collection of songs that feature "the composing talents of and musicianship of [Goldberger's] pals here in Niagara-On-The-Lake." So, it's a collection of songs from local bands - yippee! There are lots of neat little ditties on this CD, and each one has a nice, warm homemade feeling to it. For example, "Friday At Cuvee" is an enjoyable, cinematic piece that has a very middle-eastern sound to it. The accordion and guitar are used to express the melodies, and they work very effectively. Meanwhile, "Russia-Mon" is a lighter piece that has a strong Greek influence to it. It is kind of like the stuff you would expect to hear in a Greek restaurant. Altogether, this is a fun, eclectic album. "
- Matt Shimmer -

If you know Steve only from his covers of Nanci Griffith tunes, this CD will be quite a surprise for you. Steve's quite a muscular "lead" electric bass player and this CD covers a range of World Beat Music. I hope Steve doesn't hate me for the comparision, but I think of his style of fretless bass playing as "Northern Exposure" style, from David Schwartz's opening theme. (You know, folks, the strong bass line as the moose ambles into town.) You can listen to bits of it--and order it--from his website: The whole website is worth a visit in itself; many of you will be interested in what Steve calls "the Bum Ticker," his heart surgery journal.
It's a very impressive and ambitious CD. It's such a long trip through some many musical styles. Is that reflective of your interests alone or does it also represent the diversity of musicians that make up "Steve Goldberger and the Fringe Locals"? I recognize Indian influences, some French sounding accordion, Russian reggae, Irish fiddle and penny whistle, and maybe even Vince Guaraldi (on "Dog and Drums.") I see that while you and Eric do the lion's share of composing, many people in the project contributed to the writing. If I had to pick a favorite, I guess it'd be "St. Valentine's Ayre." Not to sound flip, I think of it as a cross between "The Wearing of the Green" and "Dear Prudence." It's certainly not as static as "Dear Prudence," so I guess it's the Bb in the bass line against the D chord that does it--most of "Dear Prudence is built around a D chord, innit? "Ste Valentine's Ayre" is one of the best examples of how The NOTL Project can use traditional music without confining themselves to the limits of any given style.
Then again, my favorite might have to be "Tin City," that wonderful steel pan piece. It's amazing how it sounds both light & airy, positively delicate, and yet has rock-solid percussion, rhythmatic drive, and a general carnival feel. The percussion throughout this cd is superb, and I love the three cuts "Noise from NOTL" that you employ to tie the album together. I also love the array of instruments the Drumming Fools: claves, rainstick, kitchen sink just for starters.
Then again, being a blues shuffle knda guy myself, I love "The Shaw Shuffle," when you get back to the old American 4/4 shuffle beat (Yes, I know you're Canadian.) It's great to hear the chromatic harmonica hearing jazz, a real 1950s (I guess sound)--Toots Thielemans stuff.
I dig the Chakras too. The start of "Chakra#1" strikes me as almost a fantasia on "Who Knows Where the Time Goes." Then Herb Nelson's piano changes the feel entirely; but the group as a whole returns to it by the end. "Chakra #5" though, is kinda an acoustic blues, even a country blues, except for those Indian influences.
I guess I'm just babbling now. But once again, thanks so much for letting me here this. And you've got another one of songs just out at the same time. Amazing.

Reid Mitchell, Georgia

"Steve - I received my copy a day or two ago. Not only did I put it "at the top of (my) pile" as you asked , but I liked enough to start featuring as an album-of-the-week on STIR beginning Monday. Thus, y'all - post-holiday, Toronto will be as close as your PC, at least to hear Steve's Niagara-on-the-Lake Rhythm Project." The Niagara-on-the-Lake Rhythm Project is the first of what will be two releases for Goldberger this year; in this case, what started as "an all acoustic world music kind of thing" with Steve and friends has resulted in a collection of instrumental hybrids mixing world, jazz, blue/newgrass, rock, country and blues. What I like most about the record is its spirit of fun, experimentation and cameraderie that runs from beginning to end; instruments range from piano-bass-guitar to oddities like the digeridoo, claves, seashells, whirlies, vinyl siding, tail pipe, flower pots, a salad bowl, and yes - a kitchen sink.
- Michael Westerfield, Florida
For the entire review visit:

"...This CD goes to show that there is more depth to the Niagara-on-the-Lake music scene than what is what is offered on the surface..."
-Shannon Doyle, CFBU Radio for "Earshot" The National Campus and Community Radio Report

"Every 3 or 4 days I replace the discs on our player and I put up your latest CD for the second time, since it first came home. I want to tell you how much I love this compilation. There's not a dog in the house and all the lights are turned up (b)right. I say, good show."
- Squadron Leader, Rod, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

"I listened to your CD, and it was most inspirational. There were a few tracks in particular that really reached me; but the strongest impression was the patent joy you guys obviously experience from playing, and playing together.
I have so much more to say about your CD. I really do think it's lovely. There are two or 3 tracks that amaze me and, as I said before, the playing throughout is beautiful. Especially Dave. And you, of course. Oh, and hang on to that Mahar guy: he's stellar.
The super-special tracks on the CD, as I see them: Tin City, which has the sweet magic of Pat Metheny's finer moments; Storm Clouds, with its hint of Clapton, and its sweet patience; Everything Gonna Be Okay: bittersweet, the hint of sun behind the clouds, that one ray breaking through. But each and every track has its own glow. Congratulations."

- Lauren, Toronto

"thanks for sharing, i have listened to only 2 clips and my four year old daughter and i are loving it! i will be sure to listen to the rest and get my order in soon. love, carla"

"Love it! It arrived during the week and I think it's great. It's the only CD I have which lists flower pots in the instrument list. Personally, I think I'd be a wow on the frying pan - must try it some time :-) The tracks are funky. You're a clever lot. It'll give me a lot of listening pleasure. Thanks so much. A friend of a friend from St Catherine's is over in London this week and we're meeting on Wednesday - I can't wait to hear a Canadian accent again!"
- Maureen, London England

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