12 Songs, 50 Minutes


About The Scoldees

Having weathered Howard Stern's insults, Scoldees frontwoman Nancy Sirianni is ready for just about anything that comes her way in life. The Scoldees is a Long Island quartet, whose praiseworthy 2000 debut CD, My Pathetic Life, was filled with languid, introspective ballads and sunny, folksy pop songs in the vein of Natalie Merchant and the Sundays. Formed in 1997, the band consists of longtime friends. Lead vocalist Sirianni, who is married to Howard Stern's head writer, Jackie Martling, is joined by Jack Hoffman (acoustic guitar, vocals), John Collis (vocals, acoustic guitar), and Ted Rydzewski (bass) to make up the band's core personnel. Electric guitarists Robin Macatangay and Chris Fasulo; keyboardists Peter Adams, Randy Cantor, and Benjy King; saxist Richie Cannata; multi-instrumentalist Shane Faber; and drummer/percussionist John Michel appeared as guests on the band's debut CD. Part of the band's appeal lies in its good songwriting. Various hues and textures emerge from the subtle layering of guitars, organ, and drums. "I Go Crazy" is a bouncy folk pop song with country inflections in the vocals. The band enters a melancholic vein on the delicate, introspective ballad, "My Bright Life." "Cellophane Man" puts sound effects to good use. And the title song shows the group's jazzy, humorous tongue-in-cheek side. Sirianni's beautiful voice echoes Joni Mitchell, Kay Henley, and Shawn Colvin. The group harmonizes in rich, ethereal colors. And the lead male vocalist, Jack Hoffman, can range from a raggedy John Mellencamp style to a soft, gentle whispered approach. They're very serious about creating beautiful harmonies and put a lot of work into achieving that goal. That stems from their early days singing Christmas carols together in an eight-member choral group on Long Island. Sirianni and Hoffman have been musical partners for ten years. The two first hooked up as a duo called All Soaked Up, performing at coffeehouses and bars on Long Island. Before long, they added Rydzewski on bass. He temporarily dropped out of the group to pursue another project. Sirianni then formed the band Big Orange Marble with Hoffman and a third singer/songwriter, electric guitarist Bill Mignoli, to create a self-titled CD. He left to do harder-edged rock, then Rydzewski came back into the fold and another longtime friend, John Collis, joined as an additional vocalist to form the Scoldees. ~ Robert Hicks

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