RD Roth & The Issues: Fear Not The Breakdown (2003)

Having been compared to everyone from Randy Newman to Eleventh Dream Day, you could say that R D and The Issues are a bit eclectic. It would be more accurate to say that they defy easy categorization. Dreamy, psychedelic rootsy country/blues/folk.

This is America. This is the place where the influences blur and meld, where horns meet samples, where screaming electric guitars meet the plaintive comfort of the acoustic string on a hollow wooden body.

R D Roth’s sophomore release features a newly formed band (Heidi Meredith Bass, Gregg Ostrom Lead Guitar, Jerry King Drums and Percussion), and a roster of guest artists bound to ring bells: David Olney, Janet Beveridge Bean (Freakwater, Eleventh Dream Day, Concertina Wire), Deanna Varagona (Lambchop, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc), Fareed Haque (Sting, Garaj Mahal, etc), Laura Caragher (Slowjane) and Ellis Clark (Epicycle, Chamber Strings, etc) as well as others.

Loaded with category resisting style, this disc relies heavily on the value of lyrical storytelling, melodic transcendence, and sonic atmosphere. This is no acoustic folkie disc.

As much as anything, “Fear Not The Breakdown” is about the problems faced by folks trying to get by – the breakdown of personal relationships (The Fiddler), the breakdown of urban communities (The Brentwood), and so on.

But, being America, this disc ends with hope, as Come Down, Too provides a last ray of light.

Urbane, rhythmic and dynamic. Fear Not.

For fans of Richard Buckner, Radiohead, Paul K, Lambchop, Townes Van Zandt, Eleventh Dream Day…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.