"...What is immediately striking is the creativity of singer / flutist / guitarist / frontman Michael Trew...The story was beautifully played, with the famous trill in his voice and 'folk sound'..."
Rinco Ennema - Progpraat - Holland
"Between playing electric, acoustic and 12 stringed guitar Michael Trew pulls you in with solemn storytelling with a folk style. But this isn't just a folk band, this is an exciting remix! Pulling from what seems to be different musical backgrounds, you'll get sounds like rock, tribal beats, folk, and orchestral instruments that they weave together to create a completely unique experience. this group is fresh and exciting. During their set, I sometimes felt like I was watching a play or a musical, pulled into a story by their diverse layer of styles that they effortlessly seem to have at their disposal." - Tony Hammons - Rain City Collective - Seattle
(below) Singing in Moon Letters at Seaprog - June 2017 - by Jennifer Fisher - Progression Magazine
The Art of Progressive Rock
Mike Murphy - bass and glockenspeil - Moon Letters and MTB
"...it’s all about attitude and execution, something a scene veteran like Trew can bring in spades...much atmospheric and emotional emphasis on his voice here, but it pays off wonderfully... (The Farmwife) A scintillating piece, I could have listened to this track for quite a bit longer than its not-unsubstantial four-and-a-half-minute runtime...album closer “Westward” is even more theatrical...The “I am here” refrain lands that intense vocal affect perfectly, and the silence that rings out after the soft ending only further serves to highlight the vast emotional and dynamic range Trew can bring to these songs...folksy, rocking, dramatic, and riveting, it’ll be difficult to find someone else so effectively making good on the promise of their talents. - Peter Boyle - Divide and Conquer
"The songs are intimate and delivered with a strong voice and sterling musicianship. The album has a bit of a theatrical flair and nods to the grandiose at times... satisfies thoroughly."
FZM - Russian Winter Records
...“I’m Your Television” with its tremolo guitar and proggy synthesizer, and “Vassagonia,” which features a great guitar solo from co-writer Dave Webb. Julie Baldridge plays violin on most of the tracks, providing a wonderful touch of life, and Lauren Trew’s bass clarinet is beautifully effective on three tracks. But in spite of the instrumentation, the music maintains an intimate feeling, more akin to chamber music than symphonic. It’s delicate but has muscles under the pretty surface. The lyrics are evocative, pulling from both folk-like storytelling and poetic imagery..." Jon Davis - Expose Online
"...channelling Barclay James Harvest with touches of The Moody Blues and The Strawbs, but filtered through a West Coast harmonic sensibility...
..."Vassagonia" has an organ-led but rolling groove that is underpinned by Lauren (Michael's good lady) Trew's bass clarinet playing. This gives a warm and unusual texture to the song and it allows Dave Webb's guitar to fly..."
"...quite beautiful pairing of The Farmwife and In The Fields Where The Silence...Lauren Trew's clarinet work gives the tracks the feel of American cousins to Big Big Train's prog-folk..."
"Michael Trew's Waiting In The Wings should come out from behind the stage curtains to proudly take centre stage with its mix of folky charm and quiet power."
Martin Burns - Dutch Progressive Rock Pages
"... a strong solo debut; a stunning disply of songwriting talent, naturalistic lyrics and 70's esque arrangements...the lyrics are as vivid as a pastoral Van Gogh painting... this is a very subtle yet strong record."
Keena Ketzner - What's Up Magazine
After 3 years, Michael Trew returned to Eugene, OR as he embarked on an exciting new tour for the release of his solo debut: Waiting in the Wings. A fascinating album, intensely artistic, as it is musically intricate, was released in November 2017. Resulting from years of collaborative work with his prior band, Autumn Electric, the collected material was transformed into the nine songs that make up Trew’s new album.
- Sunday night February 18th - Sam Bond’s Garage, a staple bar of the famous Whitaker neighborhood, and popular for providing rocking music and a warm atmosphere, opened their stage to the unique musical styles of the Art Folk-Rock band lead by Trew. During the sound check, Mike Murphy (bass), John Allday (keyboards), Mark Ellis (drums) and Trew displayed to a prime degree, how collaborative cohesion and coherence can result in the highest level of unity.
As the lights turn low, and the audience hushes, attentive eyes await the musical performance about to unfold. “Spaghetti Western”, a song Trew had written for his two brothers, sets in. A strong, yet soft voice fills the room and has everyone in silence. The dramatic strums of electric guitar complimented by rocking bass, start the party off. Lights flash from yellows, to blues and reds as each musician delivers a stunning show. The audience’s silence has now turned to whistles, shouts and gestures of enjoyment.
“I’m Your Television” begins, with soulful vocals, bringing vibrancy to the intimate lyrics. The inclusion of tremolo effects, in conjunction with the proggy synthesizer, bring the sweet serenade into a jammin’ down-tempo break down. Trew kneels down and rocks out on his electric guitar. The audience applauds with intrigue and inspiration. The setting of Sam Bond’s complimented the intimacy of the music quite fairly I had to admit..
Before the next song began, Trew explained the significant impact that Chandana Dixit, Classic Indian Music teacher, had on his music career. It is with no surprise that his fascinating and complex musical style has resulted from a vast and diverse music background. An exploration of “Raag Ahir Bhirav” begins. Ellis on drums, waits patiently for his cue as Trew begins with a bright melody on flute. Rhythmic intensity spreads from the stage, inviting the crowd to escape to dream-like states of musical wonder. The Traditional and World Music styles, along with the unique interpretation of each musician, blended beautifully.
It was clear from this point that this was not just any folk band. This was not just any team of musicians jamming together. Trew's band is one of those rare musical phenomenons that shed light onto a refreshing, and much-needed, worldly view on music. Through folky charm and humble presence, I was reminded about the importance of the art of music. I was reminded of how to appreciate that art, as well as the connection it brings. Pulling from different areas, Trew is able to combine soulful storytelling with rich musical styles. Influences of 70’s Progressive Pop, can be heard with refreshing hints of Psychedelic Rock. The sound was both fresh and exciting. This was definitely a show and a band to remember.
Waiting in the Wings
The Michael Trew Band - A Concert Review
Date: Sunday, February 18th, 2018
Venue: Sam Bond’s Garage - Eugene, OR
Written by Billie Demarest