Roman Carter - Never Slow Down
Who here remembers The Carter Brothers? For a time (a time beyond most of ours, namely the 1960's) they were one of the more famous blues bands in the nation, playing a stripped down and electric brand. Now, for a more relevant name drop: who here knows who Tom Rothrock is? If you guessed the guy who co-produced Beck's Mellow Gold, you'd be right. He's done plenty of other work with artists like Elliot Smith and James Blunt to name a few. What we have here is old meeting young in a wonderful way on Never Slow Down, what was originally intended to be Rothrock's solo debut but quickly turned into a joint collaboration with himself and the album's vocalist, the old Carter Brother named Roman.
The album is 10 tracks of soulful electric blues, done up with Rothrock's notable production skills and mostly played by the man himself. Roman Carter stamps each song with his gritty, honest and energenic vocals, quite impressive for a man of his long years. "It's All Rite" is a pretty rousing opener. The real highlights are spaced out nicely, "Done All I Can" and it's electric melodies, the yearning of "W/O Love" and a couple of excellent Rothrock instrumentals, the shorter "Pacioma Swamp" and the dark "Lo Ride". Each of the 10 songs gives off a sense of confidence and rhythmatic qualities that would fit as well on a hip-hop album as they do here, backing Carter's wonderfully expressive words.
Never Slow Down is very impressive for both Roman Carter's timeless voice and Tom Rothrock's evolution into a producer/perfomer of the highest order. A nice, relatively short and sweet jaunt into modern blues the way it should be done; with honesty, integrity, and that natural connection it makes to the heart and soul.
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