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A "Silence" Review, A real Review!"
[We swear RLH did not write this!]

Silence Is Golden...Let's Get Rich

Silence Is Golden…Let’s Get Rich

"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 comin' atcha! 


Almost 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 it.    


    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.  

Ashtray #1 

    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.     

Everything 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.

Full 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. 

Ashtray #2        

    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 stop.     

Crazy / Queazy    

    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.

Time Passes Slowly 

    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. 

Stay 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 or not?

Q. ButlerUK 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.
Justin Punchy men's cowboy bootsour leaderother boot
Our Flounder

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