LIVE HUMBLE (FIREPLACE)
Formerly known as Storehouse, Rodwell has toured his eccentric take on ancient blues all around the traps in England, Europe and our own fair land for some years, but this is his album debut.
Unlike the song he once recorded on wax cylinder, this is aimed at a wider audience, but his vision remains undiluted: Rodwell tunes into the disregard of musical convention of early country-blues players and prison gospel hollerers, building on the inherent dissonance, the wilful examination of the guitar vernacular shorn of all the bluster and noxious rock moves so many white players have encumbered the genre with.
But despite its minimalist austerity and lo-res recording, Rodwell is a pragmatist, and the music swings.
This is no dry exercise in ethnomusicology but a subtle reinvention of the most daring and entertaining aspects of music styles long thought atrophied, and with just voice and guitar (and odd smatters of percussion), he wills it alive.
**** Gary Steel - Metro, New Zealand March 2012.
Nick Bollinger - Radio New Zealand review of Tom Rodwell, Live Humble, January 2012
“It’s rare these days to find an original take on the blues, even in its land of origin, but the freshest blues I’ve heard in a long time comes from this local musician. His name is Tom Rodwell, and he’s just released this album.
(…plays Live Humble)
This is Live Humble, the title track from Tom Rodwell’s new album and it’s a good example of his unique and subtle approach. Although he’s playing completely solely here, there’s enough going on to suggest a full band. His guitar is taut, percussive, sometimes sounding more like a bass, often like a
drum, and is enhanced by relentless foot-stomp and then there are the little off-beat chords he uses to punctuate his vocal phrases.
(…plays You Better Mind)
The effect is certainly bluesy but the song is actually an old gospel number as in fact are most of the tunes of this CD. Here’s how Rodwell applies his syncopated style to another piece of Old Testament proselytising – the spiritual Adam in the Garden.
(…plays Adam in the Garden)