Sunday, October 22, 2006

Worth a Listen

The works of these artists have hit home and earned the 'Worth a Listen' spot on the memoirs. The music I enjoy and listen to is not limited to what only appears under this heading, but artists who find themselves here have done something right. Their music is worth writing about, and worth a listen.

Artist: Rocky Votolato

Album: Makers
Suggested Tracks: Uppers Aren’t Necessary, White Daisy Passing

Twenty-eight year old, family man from Seattle, Rocky Votolato, has written a full length album stripped of fancy instrumental layering. Twelve tracks of emotional lyrics and country-folk-inspired guitar tabs will calm the savage beast and give the depressed a glimmer of hope. Mellow and sometimes melancholic tunes will ease the endless days of winter gray skies.

Having been bashed for emo-ish lyrics that lack inspiration and depth, critics fail to see that simplicity is key. Taking a departure from the complex over-processed sound that is ever present in the 'indie' music scene these days, Votolato relies on a story-telling approach to composing songs. The placement of harmonica adds texture and an occasional electric guitar give such songs as "Where We Left Off" a much needed push. The lyrics could be dissected, analyzed, and hung up to dry, as some reviews have done, but taking them out of context deconstructs the artistic sequencing of the tracks. The songs are what they are.

What would be interesting is the addition of another sound- hammered dulcimer or viola perhaps.

Artist: Whistlestop
Album: Train-wreck demos
Suggested Tracks: The Money’s tight, The Well

Local independent
Raleigh artists Mike Roy, Joshua Snyder, and brilliant songwriter/guitarist Rob Watson have produced toe-tappin tunes rooted with a folksy blues sound. Inspiration for the lyrics come from Watson’s childhood spent with his grandmother- the warm summer nights where they would sit on the front porch of their farm house and she would play guitar to gospel songs. Adding in Mike Roy on alternating lead/accompany vocals and harmonica gives the group a well blended sound; honest, simple, organic music that’s good for the soul. Hopes are that the demo sheds light on their talent and provides opportunities for better recordings because the recordings are fairly raw.

1 comment:

Oberon said...

.......the art of peace is medicine for a sick world......morihei ueshiba.