Singer/songwriter/guitarist Fred Wickham is best known for his work with Hadacol, the popular Kansas City based quartet who released two critically acclaimed records and gained a national reputation for their ferocious live performances across the country, including appearances at Mountain Stage, SXSW, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Wickham’s title track to the second album was prominently featured in Steven Spielberg’s Emmy Award mini-series Taken and other Wickham penned tunes were featured in Spin Magazine, ESPN’s X-Games and the Miramax feature film Takedown. Following the breakup of Hadacol, Wickham laid low, playing the occasional show and continuing to write. Eventually he teamed up with old friends Richard Burgess and Sam Platt to record a new album with producer/mentor Lou Whitney. Springfield aces Joe Terry, D. Clinton Thompson, Dave Wilson, Bobby Lloyd Hicks and Lee Smith were recruited to round out the all-star lineup. With most of the recording finished, the project was put on hold following Whitney’s illness, and the final touches were made by Whitney just weeks prior to his death in late 2014. The resulting album, “Mariosa Delta” will be released on September 29, 2017.
Clever but unadorned...showing both the good-time and lonesome sides of rural America with an appealing mix of wit and evocative detail.
...hard-driving, generally depressive stuff, but always melodious and interspersed with tender, tentative odes to the simple homely pleasures. Not a bad song on the album.
A focused, confident effort showcasing insightful, often dark lyrics, robust instrumentation, and the effective sibling harmonies of brothers Fred and Greg Wickham.
...unaffected sincerity, general unpretentiousness, and emotion-driven songwriting remind us why we liked that particular equation in the first place.
This is what Americana should all be about: direct, with country influences that are readily apparent without being slavish or self-conscious.
Brothers Fred and Greg Wickham know how to boil the usual Americana themes down to an ear-grabbing chorus melody and a stick-in-the-mind aphorism. As a result, the band's debut album, "Better Than This," rises above the cluttered landscape of "insurgent-country" discs.
...uncommonly good songs, peppered with lyrical images of stunning clarity.
Combining the best of Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting hooks, Steve Earle’s no nonsense sneer, and X’s punk energy... a tour de force in ready made insurgent country anthems.
Its their fine songwriting that defines this album. Ponder Fred Wickham’s lyrical sensibility on the bedraggled “Already Broken”: “Up every morning, walk out the door/pick up your shovel, dig some more/It’s a long day, workin’ in your own grave.” Is it possible to not be down with this sentiment?
Sturdy, energetic, black-humored songs resonate with home truth and pack the bracing punch of a bar-band with a few things to say.
Fans of music spanning R.E.M. to George Jones will find plenty to like in the twangy-yet-tough guitars and rock solid songwriting.
...everything one looks for in a great roots-rock band -- ace songwriting, lively and loud guitars, solid country pickin' chops, character-filled vocals, jaunty bar beats and a disarming sense of humor.
...packed with blistering roadhouse twang, played with Sticky Fingers, and written with a honky-tonk heart and trailer park mind.
This is 'Rio Bravo’/Ricky Nelson 'So tough he doesn't have to prove it' country from Missouri.
Guitar notes flicker like flames throughout the song, offering a nice counterpoint to Fred Wickham’s elegiac vocals. After a scant three songs, you realize that Hadacol could survive a night on any chicken-wire fortified roadhouse stage in the country.
As songwriters, brothers Fred and Greg Wickham have a fine touch, melding updated country laments with pop melodies.
Overall a near-perfect record: great melodies, great arrangements and no-frills lyrics.