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|"Something Borrowed, Something Blue" CD Album, (Indie)
...I think it's safe to say that the composers are pleased with the interpretations of their compositions. I classify most of these songs as bluegrass or folk and the male-female vocals sounds good supported by fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, and percussion. Carl and company have done such a good job covering these songs that fans may be compelled to search out the originals. If I ever make it down to Tampa or if this band makes it up to Vancouver I will make it a point to see them perform live so I can feel the full impact of their pine musicianship. I am a loud rock purist...I generally prefer more intense music butt what this record may lack in agression it more than makes up for with heart and soul
Eric Price--Midnight Messenger Magazine, May 2000
|Carl Wade & Barbara Shaffer along with backup band "Something Special"
prove to be a very talented bunch that skillfully pewrforms a range of songs
that stretches from swing, blues, ballads, to bluegrass. All the songs
present here were performed at one time or other at the Thursday night jam
at the Bluegrass Parlor in Tampa, Florida. The lyrical content on this
album is at times comical and at other times takes on a more serious nature.
Fans of any of the styles of music that I have listed above will surely
Mark Owen, Editor, Midnight Messenger, May, 2000
|When you listen to Carl Wade waxing poetic on a variety of topics, one
name comes to mind--Ray Stevens. In fact, comedy along with different
sound effects comprise most of Wade's recent Release From the Sublimeto ther
Ridiculous...a sampling of Wade, his six-string guitar and his "bozos and
bozettes" (background singers) talking about becoming "love bugs" or how
"you can always tell a woman but you can't tell her much." Wade mixes
his bluegrass background with Stevens-style humor touched with old Spike
Mike Tapp St. Petersburg Times, December, 1994
|Sarasota duo Carl Wade and Barbara Shaffer salute their songwriting friends
with this album of remakes
Wade and Shaffer's friends include some with national reputations (Bob Rafkin, Jim Glover) as well as some Tampa area acquaintances (Mike Jurgensen, Charley Groth) Local peerformer Shana Smith contributes the title track, which also is the name of the group with which Wade & Shaffer often perform.
Wade has a wonderful craggy voice which Shaffer's sweet harmonies keep on track. Highlights include Glover's wry "New Songs" and "Wildlife Lament," by Florida's premier folk songwriter, will McLean
Curtis Ross, Tampa Tribune, June, 2004
"Something Special for fans of folk" by Dawn E. Scire, Photo by Lara Meckfessell Sarasota Herald -Tribune, The Ticket Spetember 30, 2005 Link to Article
Carl Wade went looking for a mandolin player and met Barbara Shaffer instead.
Wade, a guitarist/vocalist from Boston, and Chicago vocalist/guitarist Shaffer now make up half of Something Special, a country-tinged bluegrass quartet.
The other half is bassist/vocalist Rick Ferriss (rounding out Something Special's three-part harmony) and fiddler/mandolin/flat-pick guitarist Judd Taylor.
Ferriss is the group's latest addition, coming aboard 18 months ago after the previous bassist had health issues.
Taylor began with Wade and Shaffer as a 16-year-old high-school student -- he's a married college graduate now, and considered nearly a family member
Wade's description declares Something Special a "multi-instrumental, multigenerational, semi-retro-traditional country-folk-quasi-bluegrass group whose songs cut across several musical styles."
And that's the truth.
Wade has a collection of obscure songs, including playful novelty tunes, that make up the band's repertoire.
Onstage, he jokes, "We don't write songs; we steal them from other people." Most are penned by independent Florida artists, such as Ishmael Katz and Jim Glover of Sarasota and the late Don Grooms from Gainesville.
"I wrote maybe six songs just to see if I could do it," Wade said. "I really don't have any desire to be a songwriter."
However, he does maintain an unusual repertoire, eliminating those "same ol'" cover tunes which bands might characteristically perform. Otherwise, he jested, "We wouldn't be 'Something Special'; we'd be 'Something the Same as Everybody Else.'"
Wade didn't start in music until approximately age 20. While he sang with a guitarist friend late one night, his pal misplayed a chord. Wade told him so, and his buddy said, "If you're so smart, why don't you play it?"
So he bought an instrument and practiced in secret for months. When the situation recurred, his friend handed over the guitar -- only this time, Wade shocked him by playing the song correctly.
He wasn't serious about guitar, though, until an accident crushed his left thumb and he thought he might never play again. Then it became imperative that he did.
Wade met Shaffer at the Sarasota Folk Club's monthly open mike, "in '92 or '93," althought Wade lived in St. Petersburg at the time. He didn't find the mandolin player he sought but walked away with someone who grew up singing three-part harmony with her two sisters.
Shaffer's parents were musicians, too, and she performed in choruses and big bands. Her transition to bluegrass was difficult at first because enunciation isn't as important as projecting emotions, but she definitely evolved.
At a recent concert, Shafffer whipped out a kazoo, immediately turning up the comedic quotient to a tune about the high prices of "gasoline" being "so obscene".
The crowd approved.
WHAT MEDIA PEOPLE SAY ABOUT CARL WADE & SOMETHING SPECIAL
God what fun you all have with your music. I damn near hurt my self laughing to "From the Sublime to the Ridiculous". You need to put a health warning on that one.
William A. Beckett, Program Director, WUFT-FM & WJUF-FM, Gainesville, FL
Elmer White, manager of WBAR, put "Don't Expect to Walk Back In" from your first CD on the WBAR Top 20,
and it went to No. 1. He is intending to put a song from your new CD on the Top 20.
Jeanne Teaff DJ WBAR, Bartow, FL
... a great combination of Folk Music and Bluegrass. They love to have fun while entertaining and their
enthusiasm grabs a hold of you. Lydia Swystun -- Fran Birkins STASH Magazine November 2000
WHAT SONGWRITERS SAY ABOUT CARL WADE & SOMETHING SPECIAL
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT
. You guys are amazing. My compliments to Tom and Dave MacMillan, but I adore your arrangement of the
song and the flourishes you put on the end! I played the song more in your styles last night and told everybody to
call WMNF and request it. :-)
Your superbuddy, Shana
(Shana, Smith, a fast-rising singer/songwriter, wrote a song for us called "Something
... he has been sitting in his chair listening to it over and over. With my dad, that is a sign that he loves the music.
. He went on about how the music was such a good mix. Just thought you'd like to know. And wanted to thank
you for giving my dad the pleasure of your music. (Linda Stewart wrote "Meet Me Tonight" which
...it is good to have Don's music recorded and played by various well known artists like yourself. ..I wish you
well with the recording and thank you for considering Don's music for this undertaking. All my best to you and
(Sue Grooms is the widow of the Late Don Grooms, one of Florida's greatest
folksinger/songwriters. We're doing an CD of his songs)
WHAT LISTENERS SAY ABOUT CARL WADE & SOMETHING SPECIAL
I was delighted to hear Carl singing tonight on WMNF..."Everybody's Reaching Out for Someone". Sounded
real purty, Carl. Love that song. And you sing it well. Pamela Jo Hatley, Tampa, FL
You guys have a wonderful sense of timing, and your delivery is great fun to watch. And the harmonies....
WOW! Lucia Jenkins. Marco Island, FL
One look in to your eyes and the Stage manager will let you do what you want.
Until Barbara sets them straight. Connie Bagshaw, Melbourne, FL
WHAT VENUE OWNERS SAY ABOUT CARL WADE & SOMETHING SPECIAL
We were'nt sure what to expect when Carl & Barbara last played, but WOW! what a lot of Fun! A MUST SEE
!-"Java" John Goldacker, Owner, Kool Beanz
(Kool Beanz was a coffee house in Cocoa Fla.)
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