Roman Rhodes & The Born Again Pagans
Folk Roots West at its alternative World inspired best: A skillful mix of Country-Celtic-Blues-Roots with a rich blend of classical, and world instrumentation.
"I tasted this CD first with my ears and then with my mind and spirit. It was a feast. A banquet that fed me and gave me my fill….I hope that when you listen to this, you will be converted to Roman Rhodes's brand of à la carte ear-bud-tingling music!" From IME review.
Folk Roots West at its alternative World inspired best: A skillful mix of Country-Celtic-Blues-Roots with a rich blend of classical, and world instrumentation."Like a flashing, shimmering silver wall Jumping like lightening up a waterfall..."
The compositions, words & world view of Roman Rhodes with the vivacity, virtuosity and potency of the Pagans.... "Will clear you head like a forest fire, wake your mind with the waking dreams sparking like a real live wire..."
RIPE is a collection of some of the favorite audience songs from the Pagans 4-year stint at the famous Dubliner’s Irish Pub in Osaka’s Soemoncho district from 1999 til 2003, when it shut down. An eclectic album, which aims at show casing some of the various styles and talents of the world ranging band of ex-pats and Japanese nationals.The band comprises of many multi-talented international musicians, including:
-Paul Fleisher the incredibly inspired wind instruments player of New York City who, in his long career, has played with the
Doobie Brothers, Joan Baez, Randall Elliot and was part of the original Broadway Musical production of Jesus Christ Superstar. His soaring flutes, sultry sax and piercing picolos bring both 60s rock and jazz elements to the songs. -Atsushi Akazawa, the Celtic and Asian strings specialist whose violin, bazouki, guitarlele and sanshien paying add a definite
Irish music flair and Asian undercurrent to the tunes. -Tim Wiltshire, a West Virginian multitalented musician, who grew up playing with many funk and soul bands, whose haunting
slide guitars, driving electric guitars, harmonica and banjo playing add a strong country, 60s rock and bluegrass feel to the album. -Classical oboist Reiko Daimon -Chris Howe, American recording specialist who provides the drums and bass, along with Hawaiian composer John Hulaton. -Newfoundlander Bill Karney on jembe. And of course: -Roman Rhodes, the Pgaan's singer songwriter, who has the vocal and lyrical depth of Gordon Lightfoot with the popular power of Neil Young. Himself a Canadian, he is on a one-man mission to bring deeper meaning and breadth back into music with poetical lyrics and both political and spiritual undercurrents in music that is beautiful, moving and yet fun. As he writes in the 2nd song Snake Eyes: "Don’t blame the knowledge tree When it’s ignorance, fear and greed..." His songs will: "Will heal your mind and heal your soul, Jump in it, drink it, it will make you whole..." Rhodes brings a celtic, Canadian folk, and blends many other influences into these songs through his soul filled vocals, guitars ,banjo, bass and keyboard playing.
Reviews Tantalising the tastebuds in my ears! You go for a walk and discover something beautuful that you have never seen before and you tell yourself that you must share this place with someone who means a lot to you. Well, one day, I wandered down a musical highway and sighted a CD with a rather homemade-looking cover. I tasted this CD first with my ears and then with my mind and spirit. It was a feast. A banquet that fed me and gave me my fill.
It is rare, and indeed serendipitous to come along such a find. This is especially true in a musical world which is dominated by cheap jingles and chewing gum for the ears. I have to concede that this CD is probably not to everyone's taste, but those who have no interest in music with a folk feel, will be aware that this is top notch music.
I hope that when you listen to this, you will be converted to Roman Rhodes's brand of à la carte ear-bud-tingling music! IME review
Roman Rhodes, as his name suggests is a wanderer: restless, curiously aligned in spirit to the original Provencal troubadors, who really did travel on Roman roads and kept alive the light from Eleusis. Today to be a true “country” musician is to have no country but the world. All ways lead home. You can map it out in his songs. He has made his musical pilgrimages, literally and figuratively, to Ireland, Africa, and South America. And, yes, he is Canadian too, following down some of the same roads as his famous fellow émigrés. His way, however, led to Japan, where he has found his own alternative to an American life.
Born into a musical family'"his mother taught piano, his grandfather was a pianist'"songs are what he has made of this side of his inheritance, over two hundred to his name so far. Listen carefully'"the lyrics are as far ranging as the rhythms. He travels in time as well as space. He is highly literate and draws easily upon his intellectual interests; a master’s degree in Ancient History'"his father’s genes at work'"underpins his art and stance as a “born again pagan.”
Don’t let the irony fool you. He is deeply committed to a humanly reasonable but radical agenda. It won’t hurt to state it here: worship the oneness in all its myriad energies and forms, protect the earth, decry ignorance, develop your inner daemon of potential, and appreciate the sensual world as the spiritual. On such principles, he has laid down well-made tracks meant to last a long time and, in good faith, to carry you away.
Jonathan Brewer --Nara Poetry Author of Phantom City, Tonodan Press, Pasadena CA.
Red Snapdragons 5:110:00/5:11
Snake Eyes 4:100:00/4:10
Stolen Seasons 5:500:00/5:50
Clayoquot Sound 6:080:00/6:08
Ramblin' Girl 2:540:00/2:54
Wanderin' Air 3:580:00/3:58
Magic Moments 3:370:00/3:37
Bitter Black Coffee 4:360:00/4:36
The Lack 4:240:00/4:24