Press

 
Weaver's Tapestry CD Reviews:
   Newsday
Good Times
The LIE: Long Island Entertainment
Mike Ferrari's Aural Fix Communique
 
Concert Reviews:
   at Moonstruck Coffee Bar (Reviewed in Good Times)
at Cappuchino Heaven (Reviewed in Good Times)
 
VIBS (Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk County) Benefit Concert:
The LIE: Long Island Entertainment
Good Times
 
1996 Long Island Music Festival:
First Round
Semi-Final Round
 
Look Inside CD Reviews:
Good Times
The Music Matters Review
  Musician's Exchange

Radio Stations that are playing Crystal Rose


Weaver's Tapestry CD Review

...from Newsday...

The Artist: Crystal Rose
The Disc: "Weaver's Tapestry"    
Performance: A
Songwriting: A
Sound Quality: A
Hometown: Farmingdale
Buying It: Barnes & Noble, Bay Shore,
Commack; CD Warehouse, Rockville
Centre, Wantagh, Franklin Square;
Empire Discs, Garden City; Sound
Traks, Huntington;
www.crystalroseband.com

There's nary a thorn on Crystal Rose's second fine disc. That's because singing, multi-instrumentalist buds Lori Schneider and Jodi Wexler perform with such elan and grace in a variety of styles -- from the mythic, medieval feel of "Burgundy Velvet" to the country-fried "Orange Cone Song."

Through it all, Schneider and Wexler bring a Beach Boys-level proficiency to the art of harmonizing. That seems to be the Crystal method, no matter the genre the group tackles. And it tackles a lot in the 14 songs on "Weaver's Tapestry." "Alley Park" is a lively look back at the ice cream man and having fun, while "The Doodle Man" is full of blues pickin', courtesy of Schneider. The wittiest turn may be "Lucky Than Smart," which offers the gem: "Surviving the duration of a higher education / Things don't always go as they're planned / I failed to get acknowledged so decided after college / Would try to form a rock and roll band." Sounds like they chose the correct career path. -- Kevin Amorim

Newsday's NightBeat Section, Page C7
Thursday, May 31, 2001


Weaver's Tapestry CD Review

...from "Good Times"...

Crystal Rose
"Weaver's Tapestry"
Sparky! Records

The vocals of Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler are beyond reproach and the sheer variety of styles on this disc showcase a band of protean gifts. Crystal Rose is skilled at conjuring regal imagery and the majesty of medieval times and inhabit this world with fairies and an "elder tree", as they do on "The Great Awakening."

Two of the disc's three instrumentals have a lively, vaguely Celtic flavor. "Alley Park" possesses a bouncy arch charm while Wexler and Schneider reminisce and sing about change."Orange Cone Song is speed sung in the vein of "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." The tune has a country feel, complete with fiddle and a twangy guitar solo.

"Be Yourself" is the stand out with a message we can all appreciate. The lyrics center on a protagonist who is preoccupied with fitting in and hewing to societal pressures. "But then the moment will finally come when you feel so dumb/when you look into the mirror and notice you've been/marching to the beat of a different drum."

--Scott R. Greenberg

Good Times
December, 2001


Weaver's Tapestry CD Review

...from "The LIE: Long Island Entertainment"...

Crystal Rose
Weaver's Tapestry
Sparky!

The duo of Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler have definitely avoided the all-too-common sophomore slump with "Weaver's Tapestry", though that's not to say that the addition of stellar rhythm section Joe Cesare and Michael Watts (no, not Mike Watt) didn't have a thing or two to do with that. Wexler and Schneider have still got the chilling and beautiful dual harmonies to their credit, it is no wonder why in five short years they have become two of the more respected musicians of the Long Island coffee house circuit.

Stand-out tracks? Definitely hard to say, although the instrumental and distinct-orchestration of "Brittany Faire" and the record's opener "Keep Racing Time" -- a tribute to co-producer Richard, Schneider's husband -- are the ones that I await hearing live the next time I see Crystal Rose. No filler on here, thank you very much. -- Darren "Hollywood" Paltrowitz

The LIE: Long Island Entertainment
June 2001 - Volume 5, Issue 6


Weaver's Tapestry CD Review

...from Mike Ferrari's "Aural Fix Communique"...

Crystal Rose
Weaver's Tapestry
Sparky Records

Some of us have been waiting a very long time for this CD. To be precise, since 1996, when Crystal Rose's debut CD Look Inside was released. I'm happy to report that in this case, it was well worth the wait.

Crystal Rose is essentially the duo of Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler, although recently, they've added bass player Joe Cesare and drummer Michael Watts, to fill out their sound.

The essence of the band's appeal revolves chiefly around unearthly vocal harmonies of the two frontwomen, combined with their knack for tunes that are alternately catchy or eerie.

The standout song on the CD is undoubtedly "Burgundy Velvet". It's a nearly 12-minute long suite that actually encompasses 3 of the CD's 14 tracks, including the mostly instrumental "Branwen's Dream" (which contains some of Schneider's best flute-playing), the entirely instrumental "Brittany Faire", with it's strange, almost Sicilian-sounding guitar, and gypsy violin, and "Burgundy Velvet", which contains the body of the song. The sad tale of a young dancer burned at the stake for witchcraft, the song seldom fails to raise a chill when performed live. The recording does it full justice. For Crystal Rose fans who found the 3-part "Tales of the Goddess" to be the highlight of the band's first CD, I personally guarantee you will love this number. It is worth the price of the CD by itself.

Happily, there are also plenty of other fine numbers here. Some of the best include the triumphant "Keep Racing Time", Schneider's tribute to her husband Rich, "A Better Way" ("I remember in the time when I was lonely you stood right by my side/Kept my dreams from fading, you taught me not to hide"); the funky tribute to Schneider's pet cockatiel, Sparky, a.k.a. "The Doodle Man" ("You could rarely keep him quiet when the lights are low/but then a peanut butter sandwich makes his eyes just glow"); and the country-sounding "Orange Cone Song", about the delights of trying to navigate the highways of Long Island, with their perpetual delays for road maintenance.

Actually, there really isn't a bad song on the whole CD. This is destined to be one of the best of 2001. To learn more, you can visit the band's Web site at www.crystalroseband.com.-RH

Aural Fix Communique
Issue #2 - May, 2001


Concert Reviews

...from "Good Times"...

with special guests Blackmore's Night, Bob Isaacs, & Fritz Robinson
at The Moonstruck Coffee Bar, Nesconset

"One of the most exciting things about the current Long Island original music scene is that when you walk into a club at night, anything might happen. At worst, you'll catch a set or two of original tunes from a band that you liked enough to go out and see in the first place, and how bad is that? And every so often, you happen to wind up in the right place at the right time, and magic happens.

"On a recent Friday night in Suffolk County, Crystal Rose was scheduled to play at the Moonstruck Coffee Bar in Nesconset. The Moonstruck is a comfortable and intimate place to catch live music, and offers both traditional coffee house wares, plus, for lovers of adult beverages, beer and wine.

"For those unfamiliar with them, Crystal Rose is one of the most respected acts currently playing the local coffee house circuit. An acoustic duo of Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler, they are justifiably renowned for both their tight songwriting, and their unearthly vocal harmonies. They are also a band that knows how to both relate to and entertain an audience.

"The night began with a packed house, every table being full except for two tables on the side that bore conspicuous "Reserved" signs on them. Schneider and Wexler began the first of three scheduled sets, playing a variety of songs from their excellent debut CD Look Inside, and a number of newer songs as well. The first set included such numbers as the chilling "Bloudwedd" ("She's the light and the wind/And she stands within/Every grove of the apple trees"), and the dynamic and touching "Power of the Night ("Shine upon this weary traveler/Long enough to make me whole.../The essence of desire/Cannot fill an empty soul").

"As the second set began, a group of people filed in to take over the two reserved tables. Prominent among them were a familiar looking man with long, dark hair and an unusual hat, and a lovely young woman with flowing blonde hair, and a joyful smile. Rock legend Ritchie Blackmore and his new singing partner, Candice Night, were out to enjoy a night with one of their favorite local acts, Crystal Rose. Crystal Rose responded by taking their show to an even higher level in the second set, playing a number of medieval-inspired original numbers, including an especially haunting song called "Burgundy Velvet." (Although the duo have been playing this song out for more than a year, it seems that every time they play it, a new section has been added, to the point where it might be considered as much a suite as a song.). Other set highlights included "Unknown Traveler," which featured Schneider's skills as a flutist, and the always-amusing "Orange Cone Song," about trying to deal with the construction on Long Island highways.

"Between sets, Schneider and Wexler mixed with their audience members, including the Blackmore party. When they re-took the stage, they immediately announced that the night would feature an unexpected treat, as Blackmore and Night would soon be performing a few numbers. There was an air of excitement in the room, as Crystal Rose performed yet another excellent set, including the native-American sounding "The Feather/Free The Eagle," and the beautiful "It Must Be The Wind."

"Although Moonstruck usually closes at midnight, it was well after midnight when Blackmore and Night took the stage, to perform as an acoustic version of Blackmore's Night. Blackmore's Night is both a national and an international act. Having just come off of an extensive U.S. Tour, the band was preparing to play a huge Halloween Weekend show at The Vanderbilt, one of the largest venues on Long Island, and one of the few where national acts regularly perform. So it was a comparatively small, but highly excited crowd that waited to hear how Blackmore and Night would do in a more intimate setting.

"Recording studios today are highly sophisticated, so much so that they can often make a singer sound much better than she or he actually is live. On this night, however, Candice Night's voice proved to be even more impressive live than it is on CD. Both her range and the quality of her voice, were exquisite, as she and Blackmore played through a full set of material from their fine 1998 CD Shadow of the Moon, and their even better 1999 follow-up, Under a Violet Moon.

"Highlights of their set included the sad, yet lovely "Catherine Howard's Fate," and the uplifting "past Time With Good Company" ("Past time with good company/I love and shall until I die"), both from Shadow of the Moon, and "Shadow of the Moon" and the beloved Renaissance song "Ocean Gypsy" from their debut CD. The audience, Schneider and Wexler included, sat with rapt attention.

"The evening could have easily ended there. However, everyone in the building was having such an enjoyable time at this point that Crystal Rose continued with a few more songs, then invited a few other musicians in attendance to perform.

"The first of these impromptu mini-sets was performed by Bob Isaacs, a regular at Moonstruck's Thursday night open mic sessions. He has a Tom Waits' sort of sound, only with a higher and more melodic voice. Her performed two fine numbers, including and older song called "Good Night Mamma," and a newer one called "Old Friend." Both were well-received.

"At that point, a late-arriving table who had missed much of the Blackmore's Night set urged one of their own to play a few songs. After being welcomed to do so by Schneider, local solo artist Fritz Robinson Took the stage. He also performed two excellent original tunes, "Broken," and "Shells And Stones," both of which were also enthusiastically received by the remaining crowd, including Blackmore and Night. (A little while later, it was amusing to watch as the owner explained to Robinson that he had just played in front of a rock legend).

"At this point, the music ended, although the "good company" continued on in a spirit of mutual appreciation and congeniality until well after 4 a.m."

Richard Hughes, from Good Times,
issue of November 29-December 13, 1999


...from "Good Times"...

at Cappuchino Heaven, Smithtown

"I have seen Crystal Rose do two abbreviated sets in the past: once at a benefit for the Suffolk Victim's Information Bureau, sponsored by Rich and Denise Hughes of the Slant, and the Blues Women for a Cure Benefit Concert for the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, which was sponsored by the Long Island Blues Society. Right away, you know these are two very giving women; they don't turn down many requests, and here is why they are asked as often as they are.

"A rare Saturday night without a commitment, and a not so rare evening without a date, found me checking out the Good Times calendar for a place to go. The place was Cappuchino Heaven, 'the living room of Smithtown' as Jody calls it. This is a beautiful room - small and intimate, but not cramped. There is no smoking which is always a huge plus, and of course, it is a coffee shop. The menu offers several choices of brews, and the food is an excuse to skip dessert or even dinner. Madeline and her son have done a beautiful job in creating this space.

"For those of you who have not yet experienced Crystal Rose, let me introduce you to Lori Schneider on guitar, flute and of course vocals, and Jody Wexler on guitar, twelve-string guitar, harmonica and vocals. Both women are accomplished players, and beautiful singers. The material ranges from original material that at first listen seems to be very esoteric, but with the personable duo often introducing the songs with an explanation of the origins, they become very warm introspectives. A classic example is 'Burgandy Velvet.' This song's from their CD Look Inside. Images abound through the song, and when you hear it was inspired by a visit to the home of an artist friend, it becomes just a little more personal. Another wonderful piece is 'Alley Park,' also known as the 'Ice Cream Song.' The song is about Alley Park in Queens, and always starts with distinctive bars of music which will make everyone smile, and then Jody recreates sonically the sound of a park filled with children and dogs running around. So good was her impression of a barking dog, a guide dog who quietly sat through the first set barked back at her, and kept it up through the whole song. I don't think there was a comedy club on Long Island that heard laughter like that.

"There were a few covers, such as Tom Petty's 'Last Dance with Mary Jane,' and a stellar solo version of 'Fire and Rain' by Jody, as well as a great duet of 'Sounds of Silence' mixed with more originals. Now, normally I stay for only one set when I review, but this night I broke my own rule, and stayed for two. An unbelievable version of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' lost nothing in the transition from metal to acoustic. Well, I'm not going to try to be objective at this point, these are two outstanding players, and well worth the trip to see. Most of their appearances are venues such as book stores, and coffee shops, but they have several pubs and clubs where they regularly appear, as well as Shea Stadium where they sang the National Anthem before a Mets game!

"To check out these women, call their hotline at 718-468-ROSE, or their website at http://members.aol.com/crystlroze. The CD is available at Tower Records, Sam Goody's and Borders Books & Music all over the Good Times area. This is one act that is class defined. See them, you'll thank me."

Joe Grandwilliams, from Good Times Issue #727
March 10-23, 1998


Reviews of the VIBS Benefit Concert

...from "The LIE: Long Island Entertainment"...

The VIBS (Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk County) Benefit at New York Avenue

"Crystal Rose, the outstanding duo of Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler, were the perfect starting point as many of the audience members were easing coffee into their system and still waking up. With a CD, "Look Inside", on the racks and plans to record a new one early in '98, it would be hard to imagine the harmonies of these women getting any better in the days to come. If two people were ever born to sing together, it's this pair, as they effortlessly soared through songs like their introspective "River's Edge" and the autobiographical "Alley Park" with power and grace to spare. They're clearly to womanhood what Simon & Garfunkel are to male duos, smart soulful songwriters who share their joy for their art in a warming manner. Schneider, who also doubled on flute for a couple of numbers, and Wexler compliment each other as acoustic guitarists in addition to their vocals, and if you're looking for intimate music that'll touch your soul, these ladies are the path you want to take."

John Blenn, from The LIE: Long Island Entertainment
December, 1997; Volume 1 - Issue 4


...from "Good Times"...

Rock Diva Benefit for V.I.B.S. featuring: Crystal Rose, The Slant, the basals, iRiDeSense at New York Ave.

"Leading off the show, Crystal Rose-Lori Schnieder and Jody Wexler- set the evening off to an elegant start. Aptly named, the duo combines esoteric lyrics, masterful instrumentation, and tight vocal harmonies. Lori Schneider plays six string guitar and flute, while Jody Wexler moves from six string to twelve, and also plays harmonica. Both sing with clear, sweet voices. They are both excellent soloists, and their harmonies are superb. Both write lyrics, both mystify as Lori's vocal in "Burgandy Velvet" gives way to time changes and harmonies played between the guitarists and vocalists. "Unknown Traveller" has a definite Ian Anderson tinge as this aural painting unfurls with images of Celtic mystics. The women also have a sense of humor, starting the tune "Alley Pond Park" with a Mr. Softee Jingle. Crystal Rose appear frequently in the area, you can call their hotline, 718-468-ROSE or their website at http://members.aol.com/crystlroze. Their debut CD "Look Inside" is available at Sam Goody's and other stores in our area."

Joe Grandwilliams, from Good Times "Long Island Sounds"
December, 1997


Reviews from the 4th Annual Long Island Music Festival

'96 First Round Recap

"(Poco Loco, Roslyn, NY): This show wasn't in doubt very long. 1994 Festival semi-finalists, Crystal Rose are going back to the semis again after sitting out last year. Their sensitive, punchy, acoustic rock carried the judges and their gigantic following packed the room. The tasty WDRE-friendly rock of Montana Screams and the wild and wacky Shove It made the whole night worthwhile for fans that had the room packed from the door on in". - Raquel Riemer, Good Times Magazine, July/August 1996

'96 Second Round Semi-Finals

"(Market Square, Farmingdale, NY): Night number two again brought a crowd that surpassed the 500 mark and it didn't take long for the room to start buzzing...Crystal Rose, returnees to this year's festival, appeared next and did a brilliant job of carrying the folk scene's flag. The duo's uplifting harmonies, thoughtful songs and complimentary guitar work had the room worked up to a frenzy in the gentlest of manners. A great team that keeps getting better..." John Blenn, Good Times Magazine, July/August 1996


Look Inside CD Review

...from "Good Times"...

"Crystal Rose is the duet of Lori Schneider on vocal, guitar and flute and Jody Wexler on guitar, 12-string guitar, vocals and harmonica. Both women wrote and sing the 11 pieces on this CD. The lyrical content tends toward a Celtic, mystical feel. Both women are strong, rhythmic players, and Schneider takes several sonorous excursions on lead. Wexler sings in a clear, precise tone, while Schneider has a richer texture to her voice. Simply put, both women are great singers, and while the content is full of melancholy and wistful images, both women are terrific writers. The title cut, "Look Inside" by Schneider deals with the duplicity of keeping up an outside appearance while dealing with frustration, loneliness, and other obstacles encountered in living. The cut "Crystal Rose" though is to me where Wexler's words combine with Schneider's music to not only give an insight into both women as individual artists, but to explain the bond that makes Crystal Rose as strong and as beautiful a duet as they are. Another piece was an instrumental called "Maiden's Lament". These women play as well as they sing, and they sing beautifully. I received this CD over the weekend. This would have been a great morning to get stranded in the tunnel, and while I wasn't, you will be stuck on Crystal Rose. The CD is available at Tower Records, Sam Goody's and other locations in the Good Times area.

"Crystal Rose will be appearing January 31, 1998 at the Blues Women for a Cure Concert to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation's efforts to combat breast cancer. Show time is 8:00 at the IMAC theater in Huntington. The show is sponsored by the Long Island Blues Society. Call 516-549-9666 for ticket information."  -Joe Grandwilliams

Good Times
Issue: January 27-February 9, 1998


Look Inside CD Review

...from "The Music Matters Review"...

"Crystal Rose evokes images of lofty peaks, soaring medieval parapets and gauzy warm candlelight. This talented duo's first release features Jody Wexler and Lori Schneider on six and twelve string guitar, flute, harmonica and assorted percussion. With a sound based on round, warm harmonies, they resonate with David LaFlamme ambience. The obvious comparisons include Heart, Abba or even a nicer, less angry Indigo Girls. Heavily influenced by classic rock icons Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Renaissance and newer artists like Tori Amos and Dead Can Dance, the sound is complex and textured. Crystal Rose is currently in the coffeehouse folk circuit in the Long Island and New York City area and are well worth the effort to catch live."  -MG

The Music Matters Review
June, 1997


Look Inside CD Review

...from The Musician's Exchange "Independents' Day!" column...

CRYSTAL ROSE, Look Inside (CD9): From the first time I heard Lori Schneider and Jody Wexler at a coffeehouse open mic last summer, I've always been struck by the almost magical way their voices intertwine. Superficially along the lines of the Indigo Girls, they're infinitely sweeter without being saccharine. These two women have stumbled upon "the blend"; you either have it or you don't. Crystal Rose has it. On this debut CD, the most powerful moments come during those songs which feature the simplest arrangements (i.e. without MIDI programming). "River's Edge" is a winner and so is "Haunting Serenade." The title track boasts the strongest chorus on the album. The trilogy "Tales Of The Goddess" highlights Lori Schneider's penchant for mystical/spiritual lyrics. I especially liked the flute arrangement on "Maiden's Lament." Some constructive advice: a little editing would make many of these tracks less long-winded. All in all, though, a worthy first effort which leads me to believe that Crystal Rose has the potential to more fully live up to its name. -RA (Sparky! Records, PO Box 464, Farmingdale, NY 11735-0464)

The Musician's Exchange
June 1996


Airplay

Crystal Rose has received radio airplay on the following commercial and non-commercial stations.

102.3 FM WBAB -- "Homegrown", Babylon, NY, (516) 587-1023
92.7 FM WLIR -- "The Island Zone", Garden City, NY, (516) 222-1103
90.1 FM WUSB - "Long Island Live", Stonybrook, NY, (516) 632-6901
740 AM WGSM -- "New Country Radio", Melville, NY, (516) 423-6740
99.7 FM WMC FM-100 Radio, Memphis, TN, (901) 535-9100
91.1 FM WSHU -- "Acoustic Connections", Fairfield, CT, (203) 371-7989