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David Baerwald and the NFU - Here Comes The New Folk Underground


CD Cover

 Track listing
1 - Why
2 - Compassion
3 - The Crash
4 - Nothing's Gonna Bring Me Down
5 - Bozo Weirdo Wacko Creep
6 - Love #29
7 - If (A Boy Whore In a Man's Jail)
8 - Wondering
9 - Hellbound Train
10 - Me And My Girl
11 - Little Fat Cowboy

click on the track name to post a review or click here to review the entire CD


 Recording Information
The story goes that a copy of A Fine Mess found its way to Lost Highway and Luke Lewis. This led to a deal with Lost Highway. This CD was released on July, 16 2002. Most of the tracks were revisions to the tunes found on A Fine Mess with the addition of Me and My Girl and the hidden track Little Fat Cowboy (which is actually on a previous Will Sexton solo CD). David and company supported the release with a small US tour. Some of that tour was recorded and released through this site as a DVD…but that's another story.



A review of Why from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by pippolino on 1/21/2008
His best!
A review of Love #29 from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by hermosa on 2/1/2007
A review of Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by Sindre Kartvedt on 12/11/2003
David Baerwald - Here Comes the New Folk Underground "I think this is the best stuff I've ever done," says David Baerwald of his new record, Here Comes the New Folk Underground. Considering that his track record includes the classic David + David album Boomtown, his crucial contributions to Sheryl Crow's multi-platinum Tuesday Night Music Club, and the recent Golden Globe nomination for Moulin Rouge's show-stopping "Come What May," this is no idle threat.

As contemporary songwriters go, they don't come much better than David Baerwald, whose finely tuned ear for human folly and exquisite cruelty might make him rock'n roll's heir to Nathanael West. "He took murder out of the parlor room and gave it back to those who commit them for a reason," said Raymond Chandler of his fellow crime writer Dashiell Hammett. Substitute "murder" with "songs," and it's tempting to make a similar claim regarding the extraordinary qualities of David Baerwald and the New Folk Underground.

For the songs you find on Here Comes the New Folk Underground all exist for very good reasons. You can hear it in every single, passionate note, as Baerwald takes the listener on a ride that, despite several close calls and dark turns, ultimately strikes a defiant and life-affirming chord. And he takes us to this place without resorting to sentimentality or false bravado; the gritting of teeth you can hear is not fake.

Subsequently, one shouldn't be surprised to learn that what eventually became the New Folk Underground was born out of a funeral. The lead-off track "Why" starts here, at the services for the seven-year old son of Tuesday Night Music Club mastermind Bill Bottrell in Mendocino, CA in 1998. Returning home to Venice, CA, Baerwald rallied the troops that grew into the New Folk Underground, and spent the next six weeks trying to make sense of the senseless. The resulting blur of hard-fought catharsis was eventually burned onto two CDs distributed over the Internet as "A Fine Mess".

Which might have been the end of it if not one of these fine messes landed on the desks of Lost Highway who, to their credit, realized the power and value inherent in this music. Baerwald in turn used this opportunity to reconfigure what was once a howling mess into a finely tuned, razor-sharp and frequently funny narrative arc, a study in the art of remaining on your feet no matter what. Life doesn't just throw curveballs; a lot of times we're looking at a Roger Clemens brushback pitch. "You might take it hard," said Woody Guthrie, another itinerant folk singer, "but you take it." And other times you just gotta laugh.

"I love the smell of sawdust in the morning," Baerwald likes to say. Because for all the literary qualities and sheer intelligence of his songs, Baerwald counts the man who invented the steel guitar from leftover stock car parts as a high-ranking member of his personal pantheon of heroes. "There's just something about the disposability of a three-minute song that I like," he continues. "It's not meant for the Smithsonian or Library of Congress. But it can make right now a good deal better." Sentiments like this place David Baerwald firmly and squarely in the fine and honorable American tradition of unschooled innovators, misguided entrepreneurs, malcontent visionaries and fleet-footed bootleggers. Iconoclasts one and all, and with little else in common other than the ability to think on their feet, and leave a visible trail of burnt rubber.

So at a time when concepts like courage, heroism and the triumph of the human spirit is bandied about like so much fluttering confetti, "Here Comes the New Folk Underground" offers a gritty, brave blueprint of the real thing. And with it, David Baerwald confirms his rightful place in the long and crooked line of American artists who, when all is said and done, gave as well as they took, and along the way found new ways to make great music from car wrecks.

Sindre Kartvedt
Los Angeles, February 2002
A review of Hellbound Train from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by Andrew on 6/24/2003
There's a lot of chatter about the new disc not measuring up to NFU, but I would argue that this revamped version of Hellbound Train rocks better than the one on NFU. Worth getting for this song.
A review of Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by Dale on 2/17/2003
Before HCTNFU was released, I remember reading a message from DB telling us how he prefered the original recordings of the songs which would end up on this cd. These songs would have to be touched up, tweaked and polished up before they could be officially released. I was confused by his comment and looked forward to these "cleaned up" versions. But in the end DB was right. I MUCH prefer the original versions. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy this cd, but the "feeling" is not there. Something's missing. Personally, I was a bit disappointed in the selection of songs taken from AFM. IMHO, there are four tracks here that should've stayed on AFM and there are six songs on AFM that should've been on HCTNFU. I hate to say this but this is not my favorite DB cd. I wonder how many long time fans feel the same way but have chosen remained silent out of respect for DB.

And why wasn't "Silver or Lead" included???
A review of Compassion from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by Kravitz on 2/11/2003
This was a song that I liked but didn't love off of AFM. I was pretty surprised that it became the first single off the disc, but after hearing it a few times on the air I really started digging it. It does sound great live, too.

It got me full of hope - hearing the thing on the public airwaves. For a brief period the local AAA station was playing it a couple times a day, but then it petered out.

A few months back I picked up a copy of the cd single, which has a very cool picture of one of those green army men paratroopers on it.
A review of Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by PatBrown on 2/4/2003
I remember first hearing this album as I got advance copies 2 or 3 months before the release. My first impression was that the recording was a little cold and then I realized I'd never really listened to any of these songs anything but live and of course this was going to sound that way. By the time I got the CD I had seen his set probably 6 or 8 times and I did not really get AFM until after I started going to the shows. Listening to it several months later I realize what a fine CD it really is. There are some cuts I like more than others and one I wished he'd played live was If A Boy (He actually did at The Grove solo). I would have wished Silver or Lead had made this CD. That was one kick ass song.
A review of Little Fat Cowboy from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by PatBrown on 1/28/2003
This song is buried about 20 or so seconds past the last track so if you eject the cd too soon you will miss it. What a great song as are most the songs that David and Will wrote. I'm pretty sure they wrote this one together. At any rate it is a funny story telling song one that would make an intesting video. In talking to Will he said at the time they would not play it because they were trying to establish David as a solo act and it might confuse people having 2 singers. I keep waiting for the day where it's just David and Will solo and acoustical. Wonder how long I have to wait for that :):)
A review of Little Fat Cowboy from Here Comes The New Folk Underground posted by Kravitz on 1/27/2003
This is a great song, though I do find it annoying to have to wait through dead space to get to it. Virtually unchanged from Will Sexton's original version on Scenes From Nowhere, it is nontheless a great wrap on the NFU album. Probably overall one of the best songs about Texas since Terry Allen's Going to Texas.


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