Rosedale Junction has a new album out, The Last Rodeo. This record was produced by Toby Soriero, engineered by Alex Allison, and recorded at The Bridge Sound and Stage in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The music is an amalgamation of blues and Southern rock ‘n roll, but as the title signifies, The Last Rodeo puts the band’s country chops in the mix too. And the effect is a soulful Americana collection.
“Dancing Devils” opens the album with a heavy and dark moody energy. There are things a child doesn’t understand and some hefty superstition in the mix — light them up. Witches playing on the porch, angels sleeping upstairs, and all over electric guitar and organ.
With “The Legend of Dog Cat Elliot” the mood continues to be dark with electric guitar solos and a story of a drunken old man occupying memories of the past.
“Loan Me A Dime” (written by Fenton Robinson) is the only cover on the album. This is a blues number with the guitar telling a lot of the story directly to your soul, and Kristin Lawler singing intense vocals heavy with worry, with horns to mourn. Then “Hard Road Blues” will pick you back up again with an uptempo beat, pedal steel and a song about highway A1A and a bar in old Key West.
“Long Haired Angel” plays your heart with the fiddle strings. “Rhythm in the Sky” again sets up a country Americana feel, with Vito Gutilla on lonesome violin and Andy Ellison on pedal steel, and Sam Tuten’s honest vocals. “I think about those crazy times we spent raising Cain.” This song is repeated at the end of the album in acoustic form, and is an earnest echo of the first version.
Musicians on the album are Toby Soriero on guitar, mandolin, cajon, banjo, bass, rainstick and vibra slap; Roger Smith (Tower of Power) on keyboards; Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts) on drums; Kristin Lawler on vocals and backing vocals; Vito Gutilla on violin; Steve Stizzo on accordion; Matt Soriero on alto sax, and Dgiovahni Denizevahni, Sam Tuten, Rachel Gavaletz and Tyra Juliet on vocals.
Horn arrangement on “Loan Me a Dime” is by Mark Morgan.
The Last Rodeo is a healthy mix of dark exploration with electric bluesy guitars, and thoughtful, wistful American arrangements with fiddle, pedal steel, and a whole lot of soulful reflection.