Kev Rowe,
Into the Gold
(J.A.M. Town, 2007)

Kev Rowe is a singer/songwriter/guitarist, currently from Charleston, South Carolina, and a veteran of the bands 5 Cubic Feet and Big Leg Emma. Into the Gold is his second solo CD and is plugged in, unlike his first solo CD, Brown Book. The music definitely has a Southern folk-rock feel, despite Rowe's New York state background. Rowe's vocals are predominantly pleasant, although he misses the mark on rare occasions.

"Where the Wild Things Grow" is an up-tempo track that will get your toes tapping. This is definitely one of the faster songs you will find on this CD. If I'm understanding the lyrics, it seems Rowe is saying the soul is a wild thing that needs to be left to grow whether there are good times or bad.

Into the Gold is sprinkled with a couple instrumental tunes. "Gazebo Girl" is a short track, at just over two minutes, but it is a track I can listen to over and over again. The melody is very pretty and I wonder who this girl was that inspired Rowe just so. "A Great Calm" is aptly named. The guitar starts off solo, but after the first minute a violin joins in. This wonderful instrument combination is repeated in "Dream Fade," which is an even better track. There is a touch of Spanish-style guitar that arguably makes this the best track on the CD. Quite simply, while I enjoy Rowe's vocals more often than not, I could easily listen to a whole CD of nothing but instrumentals like these three.

"How You Learn to Dance" is a fun song. I like the chorus -- "How low? How low will you go to be the fool at the show?" It makes me chuckle every time I hear it. As Rowe continues, it seems that romance is the main motivation to get many to learn to dance.

Rowe is backed by a handful of other musicians on Into the Gold. You can hear Cody Anderson on drums. Paul Liuzzo generally handles the bass, although on "Where the Wild Things Grow," Dan Warmbrodt takes that role. Amanda Barton plays violin and also sings on "Sing to Me." Uniit Carruyo sings on "Comfort Me."

Into the Gold is a decent folk/folk-rock CD. While Rowe has a better than average singing voice, it is the instrumentals that stand out. I enjoy the guitar playing. Add in my favorite instrument, the violin, and you really have some prime musical offerings on Into the Gold.

Kev Rowe is a talented songwriter when it comes to melodies, without a doubt. In the lyrics department, on the other hand, he is nothing to write home about. And unfortunately, other than a few hooks, this CD has not had a lot of staying power with me. Into the Gold is good, not great.

[ visit the artist online ]

review by
Wil Owen

6 February 2010

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