Who You Were by Tom Rhodes

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan

Rhodes, who grew up in DC, and now lives in Oakland, California, made his bones playing around DC and Northern Virginia. This record, his 5th full length release, is a tribute to his father, who passed away in 2015. He was a great story teller and always had a lesson at the end of his stories. Although all the songs are not directly about his father, Rhodes channeled his father’s memory to write some great stories of his own. Very descriptive adventures that make you feel as though you are in the moment.

The songs are all very solid with great lyrics, strong vocals, and great musicianship. The record is a real conglomerate incorporating soul, rhythm and blues, swamp rock, and traditional country but melded together exquisitely. At first listen, I thought the record had a little bit of a melancholy vibe to it, but Rhodes insists that this collection of songs is a celebration and not a memorial. I for one, believe him.

Some of my favorite tracks are Crumbling Road, Back Road, Rye and Wrong, Every Damn Day, and Gotta Get. I am sure this list will grow as I listen more. Yes, this will be in regular rotation for my listening pleasure. It should in yours as well. Get yourself a copy when it is released on July 15, 2016. While you are at it, explore some of his previous releases which are great as well.

 

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