Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Music Tuesday: Rocky Votolato "True Devotion"

I realize I'm a day late, but yesterday Barsuk released Rocky Votolato's new record True Devotion and it wouldn't be right if I didn't write about how much I love this record.

If you've read this blog for any time, you know that Rocky is one of my favorite songwriters. I'll still never forget the day I was sitting at my desk at work streaming Insound Radio and it was kinda fading into the background as I diligently resolved IMR's (think TPS reports) and Rocky's "Without Eyes Still Seeing" (from Burning My Travels Clean) came on. I must've replayed it 20 times before downloading any free MP3s I could find (they have a few there now), ordering the CD, and then researching Rocky to find out that he was playing at the Che Cafe a couple weeks later. Thus began my appreciation for everything he's put out and I'm pretty sure I have his entire catalog, save for any vinyl or stuff from his days in Waxwing.

Anyway, over the years, Rocky has stayed diligent with his song-writing. He's been political, introspective, socially conscious, and he continues to challenge my outlook on life, love, and death. I take his music very personally and it's rare to connect with lyrics like that, especially after so many years. On his latest, True Devotion, he's added broader instrumentation (cello, piano) that complement his voice, his guitar, and that distinctive Rocky harmonica.

Rocky hasn't passed through San Diego since 2008 because 2009 was devoted to recording and doing a few house show tours, but he's finally coming back to the Casbah on March 7 with another of my favorites Adam H. Stephens. His name may seem unfamiliar, but he was the vocal half of Two Gallants, now working on some solo stuff. In fact, Two Gallants was another band I discovered thanks to Insound.

For tickets to the show, click here.

Anyway, you can buy the record here. I'm still waiting on mine because pre-orders come with a free 7", but apparently there was a problem with their pressing. Barsuk was nice enough to send the full record in high quality digital format until my hard copy comes through.

In the meantime, here's a video I shot of Rocky at the Casbah, performing "Sparklers" in July of 2008. This song is on True Devotion.

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