ROSENBLUME – Rosenblume (Rosenblume Records)

RosenblumeRosenblume’s self-titled album is a well-produced (with full backing band) collection of songs that glance with melodic memories at the American folk-rock sound of the 70’s.

‘Enough To Burn’ stakes a soulful gospel testimony with passionate vocals and a paintbrush of soft organ and harmonica. That is, until the tune explodes into a Stary Cats’ percussive primitive strut that dances with a religious devotion and a juke joint jive.

That’s not bad for a “Liverpudlian troubadour”.

There’s more fairly commercial folk-rock. ‘Knight In Shining Armour’ gives a nod to Jackson Browne, with strong melodic vocals,  a “running down the road” pulse, and a really nice carefree piano sound. Then, ‘Arming Souls’ (nice title, that!), drives on America’s Ventura Highway, with a big irresistible chorus.

It’s odd to think this sort of clever folk rock (with catchy hooks galore!) once graced the everyday radio waves.

Oh my, ‘Turn Every Fire’ taps the beauty of a “heart of gold” and simplifies passion into a wide heart throttle-open melody, a warm organ sound, and an electric guitar that touches the many soulful descending falling stars. This tune, perhaps, is the moment when Rosenblume stops his “salute to his heroes”, and takes up the torch and leaves his own “name in the sand” (more about the phrase later!). It’s a wonderous tune.

Then, ‘Halfway There’, again, carves an individual notch into an age-old horn-infused R ‘n’ B funk (with a really nice harmonica solo!) vinyl groove.

Ah, ‘I’ll Be Alright’, in quiet juxtaposition, oozes with pure acoustic beauty. This song skips a stone across a thoughtful river. Glen Hansard, perhaps (again!) has found the melody of that very same river, too. And the tune has the slight echo of Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’. The song is ruminative comfort personified. And the very folky tune ‘Darkness Before The Light’, again, evokes the acoustic heartfelt passion – with a jazzy vibe – of that long ago reflective 70’s introspection that just happened to have a big catchy chorus. This is lovely stuff.

‘The Long Run’ is the jewel: It floats with simple acoustic beauty – with a flugelhorn reverie. This is a welcome oasis.

But then the pulse quickens and joyful country-fused ‘Name In The Sand’, which, once again, proves that Rosenblume can take an existing 70’s radio-friendly template and find new and very fresh “good vibrations”, and yet another way to “take it easy”. That’s a big compliment.

The final song, ‘Paint Things Red’, is laid back folk rock; it’s a bit profound, and the tune is warm embrace of warm humanity—with confessions and some sort of melodic redemption.

In truth, this isn’t one for the folk purists. It confesses its love for the 70’s sound as radio welcomed folk rock pop clarity, when we were all thrilled to be with Jackson Browne as he was “running on empty”—and for all the fans of that sound who  think it’s all been played, well, take the advice of big guitar wizard guy David Lindley (and making “a rare vocal appearance” as part of Jackson’s band) who sang into the falsetto chambers of the human rock ‘n’ roll soul and told us all, “Oh, won’t you stay just a little bit longer? Oh please, please, stay just a little bit more”.

This album echoes that lovely falsetto chambered plea for the patience to “stay” and enjoy a glance, once again, at those melodic memories of really nice American folk rock–from those long ago radio friendly days.

Bill Golembeski

Artist’s website:

‘Darkness Before The Light’ – official video:

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