Live Review of Wandering Hearts in New York

Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY

Contact: [email protected]

Web: thewanderinghearts.com

Players: Tara Wilcox, vocals; Chess Whiffin, vocals; A.J. Dean, vocals, acoustic guitar

Material: If great vocals are your thing, this trio will deliver in spades. With three vocalists, one who also plays guitar, their mix of pop/folk/ rock will wow you with their spot-on harmonies and well-crafted songs. Their subject matter ranges from relationship woes to self-reflection and personal struggles. “River To Cry,” a mid- tempo lament about ending a relationship while keeping one’s pride intact is one of their strongest songs: Never wanted you to see me cry/there’s no easy way to say good-bye.../How do I let you go when you’re all I’ve ever known/I went down to the river to cry.

“Still Waters,” a soul-searching and self-relavatory ballad in 6/8, has a lilting lush feel giving it a melancholy and poignant edge: My body’s made up, but my mind is a mess/So hard to focus when I feel like this/ drowning out noise I don’t want to hear/ Sometimes it's better when it ends in tears/Still waters run deep.

Musicianship: The strength of this act lies in the individual vocal talents of each member and their ability to seamlessly blend when part of the ensemble. They trade off lead vocals, each bringing a different sound to the table. Dean’s backing guitar lays the perfect foundation for the set and the venue.

Performance: The show was paced well and the setlist a balanced blend of tempos and styles. While sharing several anecdotes to set up various songs they gave the audience some insight to the material. While not every song might be what you’d label a “radio hit,” they are all well written, thoughtful, and highly musical. One stand-out moment was their rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” which they combined with “Sound of Silence,” in the form of a round which was not only sublime,
but decidedly a savvy choice associating themselves with great songwriters in their genre.

Summary: Wandering Hearts is on a steady and well-defined path and if they stay true to what they’ve accomplished thus far they will have a long and satisfying career.