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A "Silence" Review, A real Review!"
[We swear RLH did not write this!]
"Silence is Golden...Let's Get Rich" is an eclectic mix of country, alt-folk and some styles that simply defy description - indeed, that defy comprehension. Songs that tickle the innards and melt the cockles in a most peculiar and essentially indigestible way as they chronicle the ebb & flow of life, love, loss, hope, age and time with a clear lack of a sanity or probity. Subtle nuances of Fats Waller, John Prine, Jimmy Buffet and Tom Waits are hinted at though, indeed, RLH's musical oeuvre is one that is best described as...unique. There are certainly many other words that might more aptly describe the sonic onslaught that is "Silence", but most of them are unprintable. Ah yes, steel yourself me hearties - for RLH goes for the jugular and takes no prisoners: and that means you, buster.
So sit yourself down, grab an ice
cold beer from the fridge, add a bourbon chaser to that - and while
you're at it, grab a handful of barbiturates and do the job
properly. Slam that dodo in the CD changer - or for you
modern-agers, upload that download into your digital audio
doo-whatzit - pump up the volume and just try to relax. Just
try. At times you'll want to laugh (though,
admittedly seldom), at others cry (for instance: just
before you press the "play" button), and at yet others the
urge to perform indiscreet acts of cannibalism may overwhelm
you. Indeed, "Silence" is an experience not to be entered into
unadvisedly or lightly, but with fear and trepidation and
barbecue sauce. For, time and time again, like the remorseless
pounding of a blue whale in a bungee jump, these tracks - some
barely describable as music - will make your ears melt in
disbelief. Prepare for audio Armageddon - "Silence" is
did it your way
Careful with your future young man. RLH gives us this sly, sardonic comment on the pitfalls of LUV and the craftiness of the so-called fairer sex. Herein, the testimony of a footloose and fancy free boy finding himself sucked into the abyss of commitment. That would be her way. Exit stage left. A very close call, but our hero escapes just in the nick of time. A laconic clarinet gives this track a laid-back 1920's gin joint resonance.
Not sure if the pinto in
question is a car or a horse, but it doesn't really matter - it's
the ride that counts. Join RLH on this poetic
journey down a dusty road under a huge sky, across an infinite
vista of warm sun and and cool wind - conjured up
by a simply strummed guitar and a lilting violin.
A sweet nostalgia glides along on a melody that sticks
in your mind and you find yourself humming when you least expect
RLH solos out on
this tight, jaunty little number that pokes you right in the
eye. Maybe he aint gonna love no one but you - but
he'll babble at you anyhow. That's always been the case.
Nice to hear him having a good time for a change.
A case of prurient desire meets
the diet from hell tells the sad story of love at
first bite dashed before the appetiser is even
served. A song that faces the truth about where a
man's priorities really lie. It's been said that a man's heart is
in his stomach, but RLH's is in the humidor as well. Just
so. A man must know his limitations, and here they're only an
ashtray away - but for RLH, that is still an ember too far.
A quiet song of love and loss and a battered soul laid bare. A candour that is almost unbearable: listening to Autograph feels like eavesdropping on someone's inner pain.
has a price
Recorded live at the Surreal
Oblivion, here's a pure out-and-out hick-town stomper. Get out
your cowboy boots and scream yee-ha. She done him wrong -
again it seems - and RLH has got something to say to her
about that. A sordid tale of trial and
retribution whereby our protagonist metes out punishment on his
faithless tormentor - as well as on you and the long
suffering audience - by infliction of some truly amazing
vocal stylings that could be described as a cross between
yodelling and a wart-hog in a meat grinder, if they didn't
actually sound much worse. You've either gotta line dance or
you've gotta cry. That's tough luv baby. The moral of the
story is: don't mess with RLH, cause he's tough and he's also
safe behind the chicken-wire.
A lost, forgotten
past, preserved in yellowed newsprint and rediscovered by
accident. A hidden mirror that reflects nothing is
a ghostly metaphor for aging and a quiet reflection on
the passage of time that we, and everything else, must
endure. A sombre, haunting tune.
Moon on the Water
The opening strains of a solo
gypsy violin set the tone for this soft – yet sombre –love song.
Set in mostly minor chords there is a palpable aching of the heart as
if this were a love so heavy that it can barely be borne. The
comparison of love with a full moon on the water expresses
ambivalence. An ethereal image: beautiful, majestic and
mysterious – but of something far away and ultimately just an ephemeral
reflection that constantly changes with the current and vanishes with
the first cloud.
And you thought beat poetry died
in the 60s. Well it's dieing here right now folks and the
cadavers are in the house shaking their bones and squealing like
demented harpies as RLH delivers a ranting monologue in
the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Tom Waits except it sounds
nothing like them at all. Where are RLH's marbles rolling to now?
It's tracks like this that make you wonder whether, this time, he has
finally lost the plot entirely. Hell if I know what it's about,
but as usual there's a woman involved - always a source of panic
and terror in the world of RLH - and further proof, if any were
needed, that he is definitely losing that mental strip-poker
game being played out where the bus don't
A sleaze-back low-down bar-room
blues. Yet another woman doing the poor guy
in. Set 'em, up Joe, he needs one
for his baby, two for the road - he'll be knocking 'em down
tonight. It's late in the hard city and our man is
drowning his sorrows and memories of her, but there's just
no solace in his glass. Maybe you'll meet RLH in a bar
just like this one on a night just like this one. You've
both been there and back. You eye each other up
cautiously and finally conclude that you might be long lost
soldiers sharing an "Ice Cold in Alex" moment and proceed to say
nothing to each other. You understood each other perfectly.
This song is the reason why. Your round.
Here is yet another arrow from RLH’s eclectic and seemingly bottomless stylistic quiver that proves he knows a jazz chord or two (in fact, it may be exactly two). Relax with your Saturday afternoon cappuccino in a quiet Soho bistro as this breezy Bossa Nova wafts through the air. A delicate reflection on how her absence makes the heart grow fonder.
awhile (with me)
This laid back alt-country
track’s got an unpretentious stand up, flick on your lighter, wave your
hands in the air and “sing along on the chorus the next time it comes
around on the guitar” kind of feel. And here it comes around on
the guitar again. A mildly plaintive lyric contrasts with the
fundamentally feel-good nature of the tune that puts a smile on your
face and has you singing out loud as you walk out of the door. An
upbeat – yet bittersweet – end to the collection; will she stay awhile
UK Review, 21 August 2007, by Q. Butler
"WE didn't know who he was before the show, and we're still not sure!"
~one lively comment after an RLH concert in 1975
"Well, thank GOD he's gone back to whatever planet he came from!"
~such was one comment when RLH announced that he would no longer be appearing at the Walbert Inn's Famous Open Mic Night
RLH steadfastly maintains, "When one plays one's own songs, no one knows when one is playing them wrong." But this is indeed Brevity devoutly
to be wished.
"This collection proves once again that no matter the time span, it just doesn't get any better than this... no matter how hard RL tries to improve."
Actually we only have an idea for the cover but we’ll be working on it, really we will.