Limeygit, indiemonkey
Jeff Hepfer, burn yer radio
Gunther G., the Global Muse
Kurt Hernon, bangsheet
Aileen Torres, PreAmp
Karsten Durand, AtlantaMusicScene
Deirdre Devers, Spendid E-Zine
Bryan Baker, Gajoob Magazine
Claudio Sossi, Shake It Up
Christopher Thelan, the Daily Vault
Robbie Whelan, ElSol's Album Reviews
Ben Ohmart, the Muse's Muse
Randy Krbechek, CD Shakedown
Jim Doherty, Moon Magazine
Jim Esch, Sparks Reviews
Robert Smith, The G-Note

Take the best of American popular music, throw it into a bag, add some deliciously wry lyrics and leave the whole concoction to swelter in the Floridian sun. What would you get? Well I have no idea, but if you were lucky it might end up sounding something like The Tonewelders, a simple roots rock band that borrows liberally from country, blues and folk. The real strength of The Tonewelders is main man David Glennon’s ability to write excellent songs that focus on the small things in life with light-handed irony and heavy-handed guitar, drums and bass work. Opener ‘I’ll Take A Little’ starts of with dreamy indie guitar chords before settling into a folk-pop mixture with a great sing-along chorus. It is also an introduction to a clever lyricist who excels at turning common concepts and situations around 180 degrees so it is obviously familiar, but tainted with a touch of the exotic. This concept is strengthened with track two ‘When Good Things Happen To Bad People’. A loser laments on the unfairness of his life accompanied by some excellent blues harmonica. If you can’t appreciate that then you must be Tom Cruise, in which case can you please return Gordon H Monkey’s calls, he discovered you after all. Anyway back to the review, ‘It’s A Guy Thing’ deals with the difference between men and women, using a decidedly ‘50s feel to the music to achieve it. There is some excellent guitar work on display here as well. The CD continues on in this way never settling into a specific musical groove for more than one track at a time. The constant across them all though is the lyrics and singing of Mr. Glennon, and the tuneful accompaniment of the rest of The Tonewelders; Jon Alexander, Michele Bailey, Brenda Bayne, Kevin Saunders and Alice Simkins. There isn’t a dud to be found on this twelve track outing and you seriously have to give the tracks a listen, it is one of those albums you simply couldn’t ever regret spending your hard earned (or otherwise) money on. My personal recommendations are ‘If I Could Take My Own Advise’, ‘7-11 Of Lovin’, ‘She Hates Me’ and ‘Plan Z’. Well don’t just take my word for it, click on the CD Baby link below and give the tracks a trip through your aural sensors, I doubt if they will be disappointed. Limeygit, indiemonkey
Roots rock fans get ready for a real treat! The Tonewelders spin a cool smooth mix of rock, country and blues on their new CD Five Sticks. The songs on this CD are hip, funny, insightful and completely non-assuming, while David Glennon's deep soothing voice matches the music perfectly. Every single song on this CD is good and a few are exceptional. 7-11 of Lovin' is an incredibly powerful and hysterical blues tune. Every time I listen to it I smile from ear to ear. While If I Could Take My Own Advice and Plan Z are beautiful sing-along classics. Check them out and see for yourself. Jeff Hepfer, burn yer radio
This is a remarkable CD. The songwriting quality and musicianship of this band are amazing. The Tonewelders present a sound that is fresh and clean with lyrical content that anyone can relate to. I was very impressed with the songwriting (as you can tell). The musical style is indescribable but the band classifies their music as Alt Pop Rock Country Folk. I think that pretty well sums it up. My favorite song on this CD is track #4 :  She's Either. This is also a professional quality CD, and I don't mind saying that it's well worth buying. Download the songs available on their MP3 page immediately or go to their web site and listen to the Real Audio versions of these songs. If you're looking for an original style of great music, check out this band, and your search will be over. Gunther G., the Global Muse
A great entry into the roots-rock field, the Tonewelders embrace what reads like a history of American music, meshing it all together in one tidy little package, and sending it back out to us lucky listeners. They adopt a steady rock sway on tracks like the opening I'll Take A Little and It's A Guy Thing. Tracks such as these prove to be a perfect forum for some often-brilliant guitar work as well. Equally represented are more traditional rhythm and blues elements, reaching its peak with the piano boogie of Talk Me Down and the lazy feel of Plan Z (complete with some terrific horns). Melody takes a firm hold on the breezy What The I-Ching Says - also of special note for its exotic opening - and the lovely slow-dance feel of the closing There's A Last Time For Everything. On a somewhat more playful side, it's hard to find 7-11 Of Lovin' anything less than charming. The Tonewelders make some tremendous music here, and for some reason I really don't expect this to change in the future! Claudio Sossi, Shake It Up
Tinged with clever irony, David Glennon's songs for The Tonewelders's latest album are witty melodic concoctions. Possessing a good knack for convoluting popular cliches, Glennon writes about prosaic topics in a humorous, creative way. The album's alterna-pop sound could easily capture a mainstream audience, and it's clever lyrics could also win the attention of the hipster crowd. When Good Things Happen to Bad People is a catchy, ironically funny song in which Glennon expresses his passive anger at life's injustices. It's a Guy Thing opens up with bubble gum pop female vocals, leading to R&B pop music that vitalizes lyrics dwelling on the insensitive nature of the male species. Plan Z is another humorous melodic song, offerring a satirical perspective on contrived life plans ranging from 'A-Z.' Playing with a cliche, Glennon's There's a Last Time for Everything is a country-pop track that appropriately ends the album with some last thoughts about ending a bad relationship and moving on with life. Five Sticks is definitely a move in the right musical direction for The Tonewelders. Aileen Torres, PreAmp
David Glennon, the man behind the Tonewelders, has been around this kind of earthy roots-type rock for quite sometime. Stints with the Silos and the Vulgar Boatmen are fine pedigree, but Glennon takes things into his own hands on Five Sticks. The goods are delivered through terrific songwriting and a soulful, rolling groove. Observant songcraft in the mode of Randy Newman (Glennon even sounds a bit like Newman, and even more like ex-Replacement Slim Dunlop) gives The Tonewelders a leg up on most other mature rock and roll. Glennon may be a rock and roll journeyman, but sometimes the sweat of just such a hardhat and lunch pailer pays off. Fives Sticks is a record Glennon and company can be proud to have labored over. Kurt Hernon, bangsheet
Imagine Percy Sledge 'doo-wop-soul' meets B.J. Thomas 'rock-a-billy' and you get a sense of the Tonewelders sound. David Glennon and friends Jon Alexander, Kevin Sanders, Michelle Bailey, Brenda Bayne and Alice Simkins deliver 12 mellow, to coin a phrase from the band’s press release, 'altpoprockcountryfolk' songs on their latest endeavor Five Sticks. The album is straightforward and whimsical. It boasts metaphors for the layman on songs like 7-11 Of Lovin (track #6) where Glennon sings 'I’ve been to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue...guess which store I’m always gonna run back to.' And It’s A Guy Thing (track #3) could easily be mistaken for the condensed and comically made for music version of the book, Women are from Venus Men are from Mars. Five Sticks contains parables worthy of Bruce Springstein, full of quirky observations and daily situations that will have you emphatically nodding your head in agreement while you chuckle on the inside. Karsten Durand, AtlantaMusicScene
This David Glennon fella can really craft a tune. With a little help from his friends the Tonewelders, Glennon does his own kind of countrified alterna-pop on Five Sticks. Glennon's Jerry Jeff Walker-esque vocal delivery and heavyhearted guitar succeed in producing toe-tapping tunes that pull empathetic smirks from his listeners. On wry, rolling numbers like "When Good Things Happen to Bad People" and "What the I Ching Says," Glennon does head-scratching disaffection, clinging to the hope of satisfaction that only love can bring . The Tonewelders prove that Florida has more to offer than just family resorts and hiding places for serial killers. Deirdre Devers, Splendid E-Zine
Tonewelders play a likeable brand of blues rock whose best characteristic is the good songwriting that delves into real characters and relationships you've probably found yourself immersed at least a time or two. The approach is often funny in retrospect and this CD is all the more engaging by virtue of solid for-the-song guitar, bass, and drums playing. You'll find lots to like about this one.. Bryan Baker, Gajoob Magazine
David Glennon might be a familiar name to anyone who followed alternative radio in the late '80s and early '90s - and by "alternative", I mean "college" radio, the only true format deserving of the alternative label. As bassist for The Vulgar Boatmen and in his short stint with The Silos, Glennon built up quite a reputation as a musician. His own side project, The Tonewelders, seemed to sit idly by as Glennon continued working with other bands, stopping only to release a tape of his originals. Now, 12 years after that original demo, Glennon has released his band's first full-length album, Five Sticks, a disc which sounds like a cross between Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Jayhawks and The Bottle Rockets (only Glennon is much less goofy, relying more on situations for subtle moments of humor). It's a disc that takes a little getting used to, but is an hour well spent. Glennon's bio describes the music of The Tonewelders as "altpoprockcountryfolk songs". (Hah - let's see the spell-checker choke on that one!) Such a description might be all-encompassing, but I would dare to say it's wrong, as I don't hear that much of a folk influence in the music. The music of The Tonewelders leans heavily on alternative and pop, with more than just a pinch of country twang thrown in at times.

Glennon's vocals remind me a lot of Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd & The Monsters; both singers have a unique vocal drawl to their delivery. One quick criticism I would level against Glennon is that I would have liked to have seen credit given for musical contributions - even if he played most of the instruments, I'd rather have him tell me that than have me guess at it. (For that matter, the band's Web site answers no questions.)

Musically, Five Sticks is hit-or-miss, though there's a lot more hits in these 12 tracks. Glennon uses subtle humor at times to get his points across, as on "When Good Things Happen To Bad People," "She's Either" and "7-11 Of Lovin'". But he knows when to temper the humor and turn it into a lesson to be learned, as he does on "She Hates Me," a song which starts off debating how anyone who wasn't insane could hate our hero - and ends explaining how circumstances could have led to it.

There are moments on Five Sticks which are absolutely beautiful, like the track "It's A Guy Thing". A good song on its own, the use of background female vocals really seals this one for me, and raises the track to a whole new level. It's easily one of my favorites on this disc, and is a good candidate for a single. Likewise, "What The I Ching Says" takes a close look at the questions about one's future that have to be faced. Both in music and in message, it's a killer track.

Not every track on Five Sticks works this well. The musical pattern tends to get a little tired-sounding by the time you get to the last track, "There's A Last Time For Everything". Had this disc had one or two tracks left off, chances are it would have been perfect. A few other tracks, like "She Didn't Ask," "Talk Me Down" and "Plan Z," are okay, but they don't rise to the same level of perfection as other songs.

For an "official" first effort, Five Sticks is still a solid debut from The Tonewelders. They are a band who aren't afraid to fly a different musical flag in the face of uniformity - and while such a move might eventually hurt them commercially, they can take pride in the fact that they will succeed or fail (my money is on succeed) on their own terms.  Christopher Thelan, the Daily Vault

The Tonewelders are made up of songwriter David Glennon, who runs the show with the help of some 'friends and expert players'. David Glennon has presided over the different incarnations of The Tonewelders in between his stints with other bands and the faking of his own death. Other than this synopsis of the accompanying press release, I had never heard of The Tonewelders until David Glennon sent me a copy of their CD Five Sticks asking me to review it. So, now that you know as much about The Tonewelders as I do, is the album worth tracking down? One of the first things you'll notice when listening to this album is the diversity of musical styles represented. The album kicks off with a couple of country rock numbers in the shape of the the excellent I'll Take A Little & When Good Things Happen To Bad People. Then just as you're settling into the alt country rock groove The Tonewelders demonstrate their pop song credentials with the sublime It's A Guy Thing. Keeping things simple The Tonewelders then blast us with the bluesy riff of 7-11 Of Lovin' and then just to keep us on our toes, there's songs like Plan Z, with its decidedly Lou Reed feel.

While not all the songs on Five Sticks work, there's more than enough to keep you coming back for more. The albums' stand out track, If I could Take My Own Advice with it's melancholy harmonica is so perfect, it alone makes up for any short comings Five Sticks may have. Even if all the songs aren't to your liking, I defy anyone not to smile at least once at David Glennon's simple, yet witty lyrics while listening to Five Sticks.

For those of you who have never heard The Tonewelders, the nearest match to their sound I could think of is John Wesley Harding, the singer, not the Bob Dylan album. If you're still none the wiser, then you can check out The Tonewelders songs by visiting their website, which is the least their combination of catchy tunes and off-beat lyrics deserves. Five Sticks may not be perfect, but its still light years ahead of most of the crap we listen to on the radio each day.   Rating : 7/10   Robbie Whelan - ElSol's Album Reviews

An alt-pop band with some clever lyrics and fun tunes. But I think what I like best about the band already is their choice of different song subjects. Even if they aren't Not love songs, at least you don't Think they're love songs. Confused? Okay, let's quote from the 1st song 'I'll Take A Little' - 'but i'll take a little / a little of the way it used to be / when I had you and you put up with me / now all I need is hope and sympathy / and something I can't have / I must say / I do play / a mean second fiddle / I may need a lot / but i'll take a little.'

I wish more bands would do different things like what The Tonewelders are doing. 'if I could take my own advice / I would be on a plane to memphis / if I could only do what's right / I would be gone / I would be gone and that would be fine'. The tune is, incredibly, called 'If I Could Take My Own Advice', which reminds me of a cross between REM and country.

The Latin feel of 'What The I Ching Says''s beginning threw me for a minute, but then the vocals and guitars start and I know we're back into pop. 'when should I plant my seeds / should I finish my degree / should I set my mind on higher things / will I get a raise or a rare disease / will instant karma break both my knees.' Yeah, let's see what the I Ching says.

You know, this guy's voice reminds me of the lead singer of Men At Work. A little. It's a good band. Personally I'd favor more up-uptempo songs, but what you've got here is good stuff, esp. in terms of alt-messages and twisty lyrics. G-good job. Ben Ohmart, the Muse's Muse

Five Sticks is a groovy home recording, with plenty of roots rock and pop melodies...the new album mixes diverse elements to produce classic American bar rock... Glennon's tongue-in-cheek attitude is displayed throughout, on songs like "It's a Guy Thing," "She Hates Me," and "7-11 of Lovin'." One of those low-key home recordings that deliver a solid package, Five Sticks is a fine selection of "altpoprockcountryfolk" songs (in Glennon's own words).- Randy Krbechek, CD Shakedown
This band would have to be the leading candidate for the title Local Band That Fewest People Know About. Very early in the '90s, David Glennon (a former Vulgar Boatman) released a batch of memorable, low-key and midtempo pop songs that were home recorded with some pals he named The Tonewelders. A few years later the band briefly became an active performing group and then disappeared. Well, they've surfaced again with another home recording project and this one is available on CD at your favorite local vendor. If my earlier description of their style of music appeals to you, then by all means go out and get this. Although the lyrics on a few of the tunes strike me as a bit silly and thin ("7-11 of Lovin'") there are a number of tunes that are real winners ("When Good Things Happen To Bad People"). Glennon's voice is pleasant and the playing and production are sharp. I certainly hope that this new batch of tunes will inspire Glennon to take the stage again sometime soon.   Jim Doherty, Moon Magazine
Songs by David Glennon with a rollicking, traditional American folk rock feel. "It's a Guy Thing" has a funny Randy Newman sarcastic bite to it. Many of these songs harken back to time-tested song structures of old time fifties and sixties rock 'n roll. "If I Could Take My Own Advice" shows off some homegrown country-rock roots of the Neil Young variety. I don't think Glennon will ever be accused of taking himself too seriously -- case in point: "Plan Z", maybe the catchiest song on the album. - Jim Esch, Sparks Reviews
David Glennon, founder and songwriter/vocalist of The Tonewelders, has been playing and writing songs since the early eighties. His latest effort, Five Sticks, is a collection of several of his musician friends performing his humorous, and often insightful tunes which are melting pots of musical influences. Self-described as "altpoprockcountryfolk", the Tonewelders' style could be personified as a combination of Jimmy Buffet, Weird Al, and a country singer down on his luck. Lyrically, Glennon's songs take on a male perspective of relationships. The humor comes from Glennon's off-beat comparisons ("she's my 7-11 of lovin', open 24 hours a day"), and his manipulation of phrases ("there's a last time for everything"). One can relate to the disillusionment of the oddly arranged Plan Z, and the love/hate relationship in She's Either, "she's either trying to hurt me, or trying to make me feel better". You've probably felt what Glennon is singing about before, in his low, back of the throat voice, you've just probably never heard it this way.   Robert Smith, The G-Note