Monday, August 10, 2009

Review of WALK from the Texas Star Tribune

One of the things I hate about my job is also one of the things I love about my job. Please don’t misunderstand. Everyone who sends me something they have recorded has earned, if nothing else, my respect. They have worked hard to achieve what they have done. If I don’t give it a good review, it shouldn’t be taken personally. I try to make my reviews constructive so that good or bad, we all get something out of it.

However, every now and then I receive something magical. It’s that magic which makes all the listening to the music I don’t really care for, worth every minute. I good analogy would be a miner, digging through those cold dark mines, day in and day out only to find nothing but more and more rock. Then one day after all the digging, all the sweating, and all the bleeding, he finally hits the mother lode!

That is what Red Rooster, and most recently their new record Walk (Wondermore Record) is. They were mining for coal and found diamonds instead. Walk is a gem and is some of the most original material I have had the privilege to review so far this year, and I’ve heard some masters. Kris Kristofferson, most recently.

A lot of the time when I listen to someone I try to think of who they remind me of. Red Rooster reminds me of no one. But it was music of this caliber that got me into the Americana scene in the first place. Every song is completely different from one another, but are all very much Red Rooster. They certainly have their own distinct sound. full review...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Some kind words from friends regarding WALK

some of Nat's buddies (trusted music aficionados) got preview copies of WALK and had some real nice stuff to say and we wanted to share (they may be wholly biased and compromised of course. and they are both named Peter. which is a little weird.)

The album is terrific: complex, adventurous, and very listenable. (I'm listening for a second time as I drive to the Catskills). Your mixer did an amazing job of teasing out individual voices from the 'wall of sound,' particularly on the first few tracks. Lyrics are excellent.

Peter B

Listened to half of your new album yesterday and I'm impressed! Vocals are tough to nail and your buddy has a deep, sounds 15 years older than he is, Greg Allman without the rasp type of voice - and the women's voice is just beautiful, all energy and soul. Love how you weave modern ideas (funk, hip-hop) into the alt country theme. It sounds like what we (I) crave living in the city, but feeling like we want to be back in the country.

On my way to see gov't mule, look forward to watching you guys bring down the house tomorrow.

Peter V

Monday, August 3, 2009

Red Rooster Adopts Red Rooster

Back in February, Andrew Green (banjo) came across a posting on Gowanus Lounge that had also been picked up by NY Mag about a Rooster from Red Hook needing a home and forwarded it onto the band. Part of it read: "Alicia Jr. is 7mo. old and prefers relocation to a sunny farm or some sort of mascot position." A very nice chicken-keeper had ordered some chicks and one of them had (clearly) not been sexed right and was starting to make some noise the neighbors didn't care for. It felt like destiny and without much hesitation (and after a few pictures were exchanged via email to confirm how handsome this young rooster is) we took him under our wing. We are consulting with experts and working on a training regimen to find out if it would be healthy for him (and the audience) if he joins us at live shows. He is currently enjoying the wilds of Pawling, NY and has a harem of 9 chicks.

(p)review of WALK from Vintage Guitar Magazine

Red Rooster's new album, WALK, is off the burner and in the chute! Recorded in Brooklyn and upstate New York, its production is warm thanks to the mixing skills of Grammy winner Peter Moshay. The songs feature Jay Erickson's Gordon Lightfoot-like style vocals coupled on a few numbers with Susannah Hornsby's crystal clear songbird voice. Susannah comes from the musically gifted clan of Hornsbys that includes Uncle Bruce and brother R.S. Hornsby, to whom the album is dedicated. The album also features trumpeteer Simon Wettenhall who spends most of his time with Woody Allen's New Orleans Jazz Band.

New York-based Red Rooster is the folk collective led by Jay Erickson (lead vocals) and Nat Zilkha (lead guitar) - lifelong friends who fashion plainly honest and self-reflective songs from fragments of their diverse musical influences and sensibilities. On their third release, WALK, Jay and Nat pull together a seamless album fashioned from country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, blues and hip-hop.

A lot has happened in the years since their critically acclaimed second album, DOSE, was released and it shows in their new tunes. After a successful tour in 2008 (including a breakout appearance at the Newport Folk Festival), the band went to work on WALK. Musically and lyrically their most mature work yet, the album is infused with Red Rooster's signature musical tension between the traditional and the modern. On WALK, Nat and Jay expose deeply personal meditations on a few of life's big defining and transitional events like the birth of a child (Five Tiny Fingers), following and losing the one great love (Time to Go) and failed relationships (Raining in Los Angeles).

Jay and Nat pulled Red Rooster together in New York city 10 years ago and have brought a wide array of musicians in to help create their urban country orchestra including electric guitars, drums, horns, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and DJs. article on Vintage Guitar Website