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Al Rose - My First Posthumous Release

My First Posthumous Release

Al Rose

Monkey Holding Peach Records - MHP 1050

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Some writers haven't merely a cynical attitude but savagely nasty eyesight leavened with knife-sharp humor. There aren't enough of 'em, but Al Rose is doing his level best to ensure the underpopulated tradition doesn't go to its grave prematurely&hellup;um, even though he may have to do it, as noted, from the grave. The title cut gives an indication to the gent's cutting observations, speaking from the narrator's heavenly abode upon his wildfire success after croaking:
The label might be droppin' me cuz I can't really tour
They question my commitment to career
But I'm hotter than a lightning rod cuz I don't return my calls
They may want me for a comeback in a year

Hmmmm…kinda undercuts all those innumerable "farewell" tours by the Who and others, doesn't it? Rose's voice isn't always a finely honed instrument, though it carries a tune well enough, but a listen to I'm Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" hints at why. Dripping with sarcasm and hushed confidentiality, he's the Everyman screwed by circumstance time after time after time after...well, that kinda thing tends to imbue a body with tons o' 'tude, don't it? In a line with Tonio K, Col. Bruce Hampton, Sigmund Snopek, David Williams, Warren Zevon, and a number of screwball ensembles: The Swinging Madisons, The New Duncan Imperials, etc. Quirkiness is the order of the day. In fact, Luck and Circumstance Blues is very Zevonesque, with a catchy slide hook and witty metaphorical rough romance lyrics. Haiku Blues pops up as a swingin' number cut with a very cool vibes middle-eight and plenty of swanky country git-pickin'. However, don't expect too much terbacky chawin' or boot scootin', 'cause Posthumous has string sections, recital hall piano, and no end of unexpected inclusions. Add to all that some humorously elegant packaging ('n ya gotta catch the promo postcard, with a righteous Stanley Mouse-style Deadheady painting) and full lyrics, and you have one tasty package. Comedy rock isn't dead, it's just that the culture seems to have gone back to the rubber chicken circuit and hasn't the wit for a rueful chuckle and knowing grin, preferring gutbucket guffaws and a warm beer.

Track List:

  • Down the Mississippi
  • My First Posthumous Release
  • I'm Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
  • All the Trains are Gone
  • The Miracle of Pain
  • Luck and Circumstance Blues
  • Infectious Smile
  • Haiku Blues (Neither / Nor)
  • Guilty Pleasure
  • Mud on Mud
  • Ruby Shade
  • Soft Core Hope
  • Half a Waltz

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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