A new recording from one of my favourite performers Rodney DeCroo is always a treasure, especially coming as this one does in the midst of winter’s least cheery days. DeCroo’s music warms from the inside capturing in a rare way the beauty, difficulties and dangers of what it means to be hungrily alive.
DeCroo has long been — to my mind — one of the strongest songwriters working in Canada. His songs are poetic, original and sometimes very funny. He brings a wry humour to some of the dark places he visits recalling his hard-scrabble youth growing up on the meaner streets of Pittsburg and then following his family to rural BC. But the tone for most of the performances on this new album is a kind of reclamation — remembering through the more savaged spaces of the human heart into beauty and acceptance.
There is something noteworthy about an artist who can inspire us to overcome what pushes us down. Rodney DeCroo is one of the few whose music and poetry consistently do just this.
Allegheny is something of a departure for this West Coast roots-rocker, bringing together poems and jazz-influenced musical stylings in collaboration with producer Robert Malowany. The poems are from DeCroo’s first collection of poetry, Allegheny, BC (Nightwood Editions, 2013) due out later this Spring. Allegheny is DeCroo’s sixth album and will also celebrate the launch of a new label Barge Records which will focus on singer/songwriters and folk rock.
The album is available now for download on cdbaby.com, and will be available on iTunes, Amazon, etc. on February 15. And for the lucky few, there is a limited vinyl edition being printed. You can order a vinyl copy directly from Barge Records at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The launch will be at Gallery Gachet, in Vancouver, on February 25. Also performing will be Doug Andrews, Mark Haney, The Minimalist Jug Band and Fraser Mackenzie.
Rodney DeCroo Discography
Rodney DeCroo and The Killers (2007 – Northern Electric Records)
War Torn Man (2008 – Northern Electric Records)
Trucker’s Memorial / duo with Rae Spoon (2008 – Northern Electric Records)
Mockingbird Bible (2009 – Northern Electric Records)
Queen Mary Trash / double record (2010 – Northern Electric Records)
Allegheny (2012 – Barge Records)