No rest for Rogers

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

TIM Rogers is one of those blokes who can’t sit still for a minute.

Even in a year when he is work­ing on other projects big and small, he can’t help but put out a new solo al­bum.

An enig­matic Kal­go­or­lie boy, Rogers’s skill as a story teller, his chutz­pah, his stage own­er­ship, have made him a beloved icon in the Aussie mu­sic scene so I guess few will com­plain about his pro­lific, worka­holic na­ture.

The al­bum starts with a trick, for half a minute it sounds noth­ing like Rogers.

Then his dul­cet tone cuts through the fe­male ‘‘ oohs’’ and the flute or pan pipe melodies.

No rock gui­tars. No rhythm sec­tion. Just strings and flutes and a softly de­liv­ered him ver­sus her vo­cal per­for­mance set­ting the stage for what comes later. It’s a stun­ning mo­ment, a high­light that doesn’t try too hard.

Per­haps scarier still for fans of rock ’ n’ roll Rogers, Driv­ing At Night sounds like elec­tro- pop for a sec­ond, un­til the jan­gly gui­tar strum­ming kicks the door in.

‘‘ To get her into my dreams and out of my mind,’’ he sings.

It’s funny how an artist that you grow up with sounds more hon­est than most.

Part Time Dads is a tale about par­ent­ing and it’s an­other in a long line of Rogers’s songs where he takes an ob­ser­va­tion about some dull slice of subur­ban life and turns it into some­thing beau­ti­ful.

The dad in the tale doesn’t need a pat on the back ev­ery day, he just wants to know that he at least did one thing right by his kids.

Go on Out is just too coun­try for one of this gen­er­a­tion’s best rock­ers.

Meh. But then I Love You Just As You Are, Now Change de­liv­ers a dose of dirty blues bass with ex­actly the right amount of oomph.

Even if it is just ‘‘ rel­a­tively speak­ing’’ oomph, this one gal­lops and grinds and gets un­der your skin.

It’s the song you will go away hum­ming once the CD has stopped spin­ning or MP3 has stopped ‘‘ 1010011011- ing’’.

Through the al­bum there’s lots of pass­ing im­agery about ‘‘ booze’’ and be­ing ‘‘ loose’’ and ‘‘ a lush’’, with Didn’t Plan To Be Here Ei­ther, Baby the pick of the bunch.

Its easy breeze gui­tars and vo­cal melodies are per­fect. The song was recorded in a raw way so you can hear his fin­gers as they scratch across the gui­tar strings while chang­ing from note to note.

Rogers fi­nally plugs in his elec­tric gui­tar for the clos­ing num­ber, even if there’s not a true You Am I riff in the place it’s still a plea­sure. Cool or­gans, too. The song is joy­ful and feels like it’ll be a live favourite, high en­ergy but with a rhythm ’ n’ blues swing.

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