monoblogue music: “Go By Myself” by Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders

October 31, 2015 · Posted in Music Reviews 

I guess I’m becoming an old hand at this because I’m now doing subsequent releases from artists I’ve previously reviewed. Last year I took a look at Australian country-rocker Billy Roberts and his band, and was impressed enough that “The Last of the Originals” made it into my top five for the year.

However, I cautioned in that review that Roberts needed to work on his vocal range because he sings in a monotone fashion, and this album only has a few points of modest improvement. Perhaps the best examples of writing to suit his voice come on Who Do You Think You Are and the title track, where he moans about going by himself “from a world gone wrong/from a love gone bad.”

Yet if you listen strictly to the music, it could be argued that Roberts is stepping back a bit from the country side of country-rock and going in an edgier direction. Menacing guitar has always made me enjoy a song more, and that is used to good effect on the opening song Beat Down and Broken. While you may hear quite a bit about the subject in that genre, Driving doesn’t come across as a country song, either. From The Ashes is the best example of a country rocker.

If there is one aspect where Roberts stays within his classic country influences, though, it’s in the heartbreak and desolation he writes about. Be warned: this isn’t an upbeat album. The resignation of Forget About Me, lamenting about missing Kayla, singing about Hard Times, the snarly mood of Seen It All Before – it all comes to a somber climax on Goodbye Old Friend, which closes the set.

One song that got me, though, was Gone To The Dogs, because it’s about Detroit – and to a large extent he’s right. I could make a political case why, but that’s for other posts. (If you’re one of those who come here strictly for music reviews, understand that most of my other content is political and I grew up an hour south of Motown, so that song had a particular appeal.)

There are artists who have scored big even without vocals that could win “The Voice,” and it’s because they write songs catering to their strengths. There are also those who lead the band and don’t sing, hiring a vocalist and concentrating on writing great music. Knowing this was a second effort, I was a little disappointed that the move forward was so modest because the vocals actually regressed a bit in my mind. I liked “The Last Of the Originals” a lot in 2014, but this latest release is a step or two back.

As always, I invite you to judge for yourself. Maybe this album won’t make my top five this year, but musically I like the direction Billy Roberts is taking – here’s hoping next time he puts it all together.

Comments

Comments are closed.

  • I haven't. Have you?
  • 2018 Election

    The Maryland primary election is June 26.

     

    Governor

     

    Republican:

    Larry Hogan (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Democrat:

    Rushern Baker – Facebook Twitter

    Ralph JaffeFacebook

    Ben JealousFacebook Twitter

    Kevin KamenetzFacebook Twitter

    Rich MadalenoFacebook Twitter

    Alec RossFacebook Twitter

    Jim SheaFacebook Twitter

    Krish VignarajahFacebook Twitter

    Candidates for Libertarian and Green parties will be added after primary.

     

    Comptroller

     

    Republican:

    Anjali Reed PhukanFacebook Twitter

     

    Democrat:

    Peter Franchot (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Attorney General

     

    Republican

    Craig WolfFacebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    Brian Frosh (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    U.S. Senate

     

    Republican

    Tony Campbell – Facebook Twitter

    Nnabu EzeFacebook

    Gerald Smith

     

    Democrat

    Ben Cardin (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Chelsea Manning – Twitter

    Jerome SegalFacebook Twitter

    Rikki VaughnTwitter

    Debbie “Rica” Wilson

    Candidate for the Libertarian Party and the independent will be added after the primary.

     

    U.S. Congress -1st District

     

    Republican

    Martin Elborn – Facebook Twitter

    Andy Harris (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Lamont Taylor – Facebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    Michael Brown

    Jesse ColvinFacebook Twitter

    Allison Galbraith – Facebook Twitter

    Michael Pullen – Facebook Twitter

    Steve Worton – Facebook Twitter

    Candidate for the Libertarian Party will be added after the primary.

     

    State Senator – District 37

     

    Republican

    Addie Eckardt (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    None yet. I’m sure there will be.

     

    State Senator – District 38

     

    Republican

    Mary Beth CarozzaFacebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    Jim Mathias (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 37A

     

    Republican

    None yet. One is needed.

     

    Democrat

    Sheree Sample-Hughes (incumbent)

     

    Delegate – District 37B (elect 2)

     

    Republican

    Chris Adams (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Keith Graffius

    Johnny Mautz (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    Dan O’Hare

     

    Delegate – District 38A

     

    Republican

    Charles Otto (incumbent)

     

    Democrat

    Kirkland Hall, Sr.

     

    Delegate – District 38B

     

    Republican

    Carl Anderton, Jr. (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Democrat

    None yet but they’ll find one.

     

    Delegate – District 38C

     

    Republican

    Wayne HartmanFacebook

    Joe Schanno – Facebook

    Jim Shaffer

    Ed TinusFacebook

     

    Democrat

    None yet but they’ll find one.

     

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Link to Maryland Democratic Party

    In the interest of being fair and balanced, I provide this service to readers. But before you click on the picture below, just remember their message:

  • Part of the Politics in Stereo network.