“Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, and Muddy Rivers were already a ridiculously amazing combo, but when you allow them to get into the studio and spread their wings like eagles over their prey it’s downright deadly.” - Chip McCabe
Formed in 2019, The Bargain comprises Frank Critelli on vocals, Muddy Rivers on guitar and harmony vocals, and Shandy Lawson on mandolin. Drawing on a range of influences from The Band, to Metallica, to Goethe, the three come together in a fusion of guitar-driven acoustic pop pieces and soaring ballads, bolstered by vocal harmonies and mandolin.
The Bargain's first CD, a collection titled Hindsight: 2020 was released in February of 2021 to critical success, and was followed by the studio album '22 in November of the following year, earning spots on two of Connecticut's year-end "Best Of" lists.
The band performs regularly throughout New England, with occasional journeys south along the east coast, performing both in their original acoustic trio configuration as well as an electric five-piece, backed by Jim Stavris on drums and Bobo Lavorgne on bass.
“The Bargain — Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, and Muddy Rivers — banded together to create a body of songs that were more than the sum of their considerable parts. Rivers’s intricate, propulsive guitar work, Lawson’s shining mandolin, and Critelli’s warm, weathered voice combined in both songwriting and performance to make a sound like battered hope.” - Brian Slattery