Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
In December, Pete Donnelly – bassist for the long-running Saratoga Springs-born band the Figgs and more recently a member of NRBQ – released “When You Come Home,” his first solo album. Actually, it’s the second if you count “Another Day on You,” a cassette of home recordings from 1999 that came out in an extremely limited edition of 50 copies.
But “When You Come Home” gets the full treatment – and hopefully exposure – that Donnelly’s songwriting deserves. There’s a stylish video by director Geoffray Barbier for the album’s irrepressibly catchy single, “Can’t Talk at All.” Artist Chris Donnelly, Pete’s cousin, provided an eye-catching linoleum cut for the album’s cover. And most of the album’s polished recording was done not at home but by Donnelly and engineer Henry Hirsch at Waterfront Studio in Hudson.
The album also features guest appearances from musical friends that Donnelly has made over the years. Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner adds guitar and vocals to “The Keeping.” Figgs guitarist Mike Gent and sultry-voiced singer Britta Phillips of Dean & Britta appear on “Careful.” And longtime NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino played drums on the album’s title track (and a 30-second snippet of piano that ended up on the album as an interlude) not long before he died in January.