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Gritty Rock Ballads with International Flavor from New York Band Firewater

Posted by on September 28, 2012

The first time I heard the gravelly voice of Firewater’s lead singer Tod A was on the song “Bourbon and Division.” This ballad comes across like a man’s last drinking song as he ponders the meaning of his life on earth.

Here’s the track from Firewater’s first record in 1996 Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire.


Firewater’s singer Tod A started out playing bass in the punky rock band Cop Shoot Cop. He brought in his love for all kinds of music (Indian to Klesmer, Latin to art-punk) when he formed Firewater in Brooklyn in 1995. After the debut, he continued to change band members and explore new kinds of music on his next few releases.

The record The Golden Hour in 2008 was more refined. It had quite a bit more Latin feel. The stunner is the bleak, poetic call to the sunrise “6:45.”


The new record International Orange came out this month. It’s a bit more pop-rock but still has that same yearning. Favorite track so far is “Glitter Days.”


Firewater perform Monday at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle with dark cabaret-style local band The Bad Things. Both groups are great live.

Tune in to DJ Michele Myers Friday nights at 9pm on KEXP radio. Music Historian and Producer, Michele’s made over 200 radio stories for KEXP Documentaries. She’s written scripts, lesson plans and features for Experience Music ProjectUniversity of Washington and NPR.

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