It is always heartening to see a regional, relatively unknown band get some overdue recognition. New Jersey’s Wiser Time has shown up on several roots music charts with this release. This mostly stripped-down album represents a different sound for this rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s a sound that works by comfortably distilling and melding the elements of good roots music: country, blues and less aggressive rock. The first track, “Love and Devotion,” belies these descriptions as Carmen Sclafani’s blistering slide and Rob Clores’ pounding piano scream rock ‘n’ roll. But as you settle into the middle of the record, the tunes have a laconic, acoustic mood.
This release finds the band relaxed in the studio for the first time, aided by the presence of friends. All of these tracks were done live and all but the closer, “Seagull,” are originals. Other notable tracks are the engaging “Take Me Back Home” and “Working Man’s Blues.” Close listens to the lyrics reveal personal experiences, road stories and observant details of the musician’s lifestyle. Yet, the easy, unpretentious feel of the music exudes a celebratory spirit. Settle in and enjoy.