Barry Shumate has been playing guitar for about thirty years. However on his album An Occasional Peach he also struts his skills on piano and bass to name a few of the other instruments he plays. An Occasional Peach is Shumate’s first album and fortunately he is also a skilled songwriter on top of being a good guitar player.
As I hit play listening to the first track “Autumn Smile” the first thing that came to mind was Pink Floyd. This comparison isn’t always as apparent on other songs but the similarities are eerie on the first track. It's not only the music but also his voice, which sounded like I was listening to some alternate version of “Comfortably Numb.” “Autumn Smile” even has lyrics that feel like that could have come out of The Wall.
What's unusual is that as the album progresses there are songs that contain the more serious, cosmic even dark vibe of “Autumn Smile” and then you have a song like “The Banana Song” which is downright silly and comical.
On “The Banana Song” Shumate creates a Santana-like groove and then proceeds to sing about how he has a fruit stand and likes to sell bananas to women and then about how he likes to watch them eat bananas. Shumate somehow created a vibe that runs somewhere between innocuous and creepy.
There are also songs that lie somewhere in between like the delightful “Mountain Town” or the bluesy “Ray Charles Friday.” Shumate pulls off Joe Satriani type lead work on “1302” while “Turn” returns to an overt Pink Floyd vibe.
An Occasional Peach is a scattered album that doesn’t quite create a distinct sound for Shumate. He wears his influences on his sleeve and jumps from idea to idea without finding a way to tie a lot of them together. That being said Shumate has skill as a guitar player, enjoyed his voice and has decent skill when to comes to writing a song. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook