"Rosenthal can draw you into his lyrics much the same way that James Taylor and Don Henley can".
"Take Jackson Browne’s personal confessions and wrap them in Kris Kristofferson’s world weary tales of broken relationships and you have an idea of what to expect from Tokyo Rosenthal."
"This is Americana with real teeth in the lyrics"
This and more is what the critics are saying about Tokyo Rosenthal. But it wasn’t an overnight trip. Hardly, as "Toke" has spanned the music scene for three decades. But it was in 2007 when recognition finally reached him through the recording of his CD, "One Score And Ten".
The song "Edmonton" off this album led to Rosenthal receiving the key to the city of Edmonton as an award for cultural and artistic contributions to Alberta’s capitol city. This also led to a month long tour of Canada sponsored by West Jet Airlines, TV and Radio appearances, and an opening slot for several nights in Toronto for Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and former Byrd and Burrito Brother Chris Hillman. Toke was personally picked by Chris to share the bill. He has also opened for the likes of America, Stephen Stills, Rick Roberts, Josh Williams, Jackie Leven, and Come On In My Kitchen, in addition to headlining shows. His recent festival work includes The Edmonton Fringe Festival, The Carrboro Music Festival, Tyler’s Americana Festival, SXSW, and the World Music United Festival.
In a career that started with the country rock boom, Rosenthal has honed his craft and "Rootsy/ Americana with a little blues thrown in" sound to perfection. His recent move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina has allowed him to team up with the famed producer and recording star Chris Stamey in the studio.
But prior to that Rosenthal made his reputation while living in Rhode Island, New York, and Los Angeles. He headed such groups as the legendary Harpo and Slapshot and Treo Gato as well as his solo endeavors. This has helped him receive radio airplay in the U.S. and Canada , and radio stations in the UK and Europe are spinning Tokyo now as well.
While content to let the critics compare his style to others Tokyo doesn’t hesitate to point out his influences, who include The Band, The Byrds, The Indigo Girls, Gene Clark, Emmylou Harris, and believe it or not Janis Joplin.
In 2008 Rosenthal released a new CD entitled "Love Won Out" that featured the single "St. Patrick’s Day", to critical acclaim. This CD broke into the charts reaching #11 on the Euro Americana Chart, #14 on the Far Chart and #10 on the North Carolina Roots chart. He completed a Northeast US tour in March and a UK tour in April of that year. In August of the same year he toured Japan and debuted in The Netherlands in October. In November Toke was back in New York City followed by Woodstock and Boston and then made a "Heartland" tour from North Carolina to Texas and back, headlining along the way at the World Music United Festival in San Marcos.
He began 2009 with the release of the timely and moving single, "Mister Tell Me ‘Bout The Great Depression". Then he returned to Holland and Scotland for two weeks in February for a radio concert tour. This was followed by Germany in the spring and another tour of the UK in the fall. And of course he played all over North Carolina while recording his next album, “Ghosts”, that was released in January 2010. His most successful release to date, "Ghosts", reached #5 on the Euro Americana Chart and the critical acclaim and US airplay was overwhelming. "Toke" then once again toured the Northeast U.S. with the highlight being his headlining at the world famous Bitter End in New York City. Toke then completed "UK Tour IV" and extensively toured the US for the balance of 2010.
So where is Tokyo Rosenthal in 2011? He began the year with a West Coast tour including his first live gig in Los Angeles in over ten years. That was followed by SXSW in Austin, Texas along with other Texas dates. But the much anticipated release of his fourth studio album, "Who Was That Man?", happened on May 1st. Joined once again by Chris Stamey on bass and production, Tokyo's new tunes grabbed Americana fans the world over as it reached # 5 on both the FAR Chart and the Alternate Roots Chart as well as #8 on the Euro Americana Chart. Finally he toured the UK for the fifth time, for 15 nights followed by the Midwest for 10 days in the Fall of 2011.
Always writing and always gigging, his musical journey continues.
TOKYO ROSENTHAL - Vocals, Guitar
CHARLIE CHAMBERLAIN - Mandolin and Guitar
"WHO WAS THAT MAN? - #5 ON THE FAR AND ALTERNATE ROOTS CHART, #8 EURO AMERICANA CHART, FEATURES "THE LIBRARIAN".
CD -"GHOSTS" features "Mister Tell Me 'Bout The Great Depression" and "And Then You Sang" - #5 ON THE EURO-AMERICAN CHART, FEATURES CHRIS STAMEY, AL PERKINS, PETER HOLSAPPLE
"LOVE WON OUT" - features "St. Patrick's Day" and the title track "Love Won Out". Guest artists include Chris Stamey and Al Perkins.
"ONE SCORE AND TEN"(Rock & Sock Records)-(copyright Bronx Flash Music) - includes the award winning song "Edmonton" , "My Reflection" and "The End Of My Rope".
"Edmonton" received the key to the city from the Mayor for "artistic and cultural contributions".
The album was produced by Tokyo Rosenthal in association with Chris Stamey.
"No Te Metas Con Migo" - EP released in 2001
Mister Tell Me 'Bout The Great Depression
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
WHO WAS THAT MAN?
SAVING OR SUFFOCATION
STILL SHE THANKS GOD
AND THEN YOU SANG
LOVE WON OUT
LITTLE POETRY GIRL
WHO'S TO SAY WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
- St. Patrick's Day
- Long Ago I Knew Someone Like You
- You're Dead to Me Now
- Will You Speak About Me Then
- The Ballad of Doc and Sadie
- Too Late for Me, Carolina?
- The End of my Rope
- What's So Bad 'Bout Bein' Misunderstood?
- My Reflection
- I CARE IF YOU DO
- WHO'S TO SAY WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
- LOVE WON OUT
- IF I COULD DRAW MY HEART
- GOODNIGHT CARRIE I'M COMING HOME
- Little Poetry Girl
- STILL SHE THANKS GOD
- MISTER TELL ME 'BOUT THE GREAT DEPRESSION
- STILL SHE THANKS GOD
WHO WAS THAT MAN?
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It's a couple of years since Toke Rosenthal's last album and these ten new songs lift off from t...
It's a couple of years since Toke Rosenthal's last album and these ten new songs lift off from the standout track on 2009's Ghosts. That standout track was Mister, Tell Me 'Bout The Great Depression, a song which drove along rather splendidly. The briskness and focus which gave that particular song such life shows up immediately on the new album and demonstrates what a powerful thing it can be for a singer to find a context - the band and the production - that really suits him. Toke's voice is distinctive and unusual, with a catch in it that seems to belong to another style - one I can't put my finger on, to be honest, but whatever it may be, he doesn't sound like a rock or country singer. However, in Bobby Britt's vigourous fiddle playing, Toke has found a great counterpoint to his vocal style and this has only been enhanced for the new album by the addition of Allyn Love's sympathetic pedal steel playing and the light, joyful style of Charlie Chamberlain on mandolin and banjo. In short, before the first song is half over, you get the happy feeling that all the elements of this music are fitting together just perfectly.
Toke follows the path of the singer-songwriter with the social conscience, so his albums are full of tales with empathy for characters who have their struggles. Sometimes he writes in the first person though I'm not sure we should necessarily take those songs as autobiographical; he comes up with some good downbeat lines that Hank Williams would have happily used: "There's nothin' I can't do in life - 'cept get a fresh start" is one, and "Maybe I've been where I'm goin'" is another. That's a mid-life crisis line, if ever I heard one. Some of his songs take a little thinking about before you get to the heart of them; if you're not privy to the events that inspired the song, then you have to join the dots a bit. However, more than ever on this new album, the music will carry you through whilst you're figuring it all out. The most direct song here, Black To Blue, talks about the devastation of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, an event which I guess should stain the conscience of all of us oil junkies. Complicated world, ain't it?
There's some really good music on Who Was That Man - a dash of Mexican horns on The Librarian and some Jerry Lee Lewis flavoured country on San Antone being amongst the highlights. The man himself reaches the warmer depths of his singing register on some songs and overall the feel of a real band in full flow is really nice to hear. Toke will be back in the UK before too long and it'd be great if at least some of his band were over with him; with this album already riding high in the Euroamericana chart, I'm sure he'll be getting a warm welcome, whatever.
WHO WAS THAT MAN?
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Tokyo Rosenthal, Who Was That Man? It happened in 2007. Suddenly, after three decades of clock pu...Tokyo Rosenthal, Who Was That Man?
It happened in 2007. Suddenly, after three decades of clock punching, Tokyo Rosenthal got some love from the world. Thirty years of foreplay must have given those blue overtones more
of a purple shade. With the release of ‘One Score and Ten’, specifically with the track “Edmonton”, that he received commendation from across the US northern border, as the city of Edmonton awarded Toke the keys to the city as an award for cultural and artistic contributions to Alberta’s capitol. That led to a month long tour of Canada sponsored by West Jet Airlines. Once the world was aware, Tokyo moved into television and radio appearances, opening slots for Chris Hillman (The Byrds/Fabulous Burrito Brothers), America, Stephen Stills and Rick Roberts, in addition to headlining shows. His festival tags read The Edmonton Fringe Festival, The Carrboro Music Festival, Tyler’s Americana Festival, SXSW, and the World Music United Festival.
Tokyo Rosenthal rocks with roots passion. A move to North Carolina matched him with go-to Indie guy Chris Stamey for bass and production. In between US and Euro tours, Toke has released a new album effort, ‘Who Was That Man’? The album sticks to what the man does
best; rootsy Americana held together with high end vocal yelps and finely tuned songs. Starting off with the south of the border feel of the title track, Tokyo opens his heart to love. The theme plays a big role on ‘Who Was That Man?’. Both sides and a couple of the edges of the passion brought on by two together, and apart, are mined on the tracks. The sound is earthy, like the voice. There is an honesty crafted into the tales and the music that supports them with acoustic determination (“Black to Blue”)
Tokyo Rosenthal and the band race a fiddle riff back to “San Antone”, march along with mariachi horns with “The Librarian” and create an arrangement that aims for the end goal with fast paced determination while describing “Ann Marie”. It is the voice that grounds the tracks and tames the beats. When the band seems ready to fly out of the sparks and away, Tokyo keeps us safe at home. His voice is a warm fire, crackling with the fire of passion and the flame of belief.
Fueled by a forward motion that needs no second wind, Tokyo Rosenthal continues to make people aware of his presence. His website hosts a calendar, more music, photos and all the news. Danny McCloskey
WHO WAS THAT MAN?
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Tokyo Rosenthal Who Was That Man? Released: 2011 If you’ve never heard of Tokyo Rosenthal, ...
Who Was That Man?
If you’ve never heard of Tokyo Rosenthal, it’s quite likely that the subtlety of the album title and cover photograph will pass you by. It would be a shame, though, if anyone were to miss out on this terrific release for if the late Warren Zevon had been a country singer, he might’ve sounded like this.
The air of mystery alluded to in the album title is only furthered in the eponymous track aided by some ear-piercing fiddle and horn playing. “Maybe I’ve Been Where I’m Going” is delightful both in its wordplay and in its composition and this can also be said of “San Antone" with the latter track being a fine example of how simple lyrics can seem profound and such a quality is surely a hallmark of excellence.
Rosenthal’s voice has an exaggerated sense of emotion to it that really highlights the power of his lyrics. Whether in jest (“The Librarian” is about an 87 year-old porn star) or in sincerity (“Black to Blue” concerns itself with the BP oil spill), Rosenthal never sounds anything but convincing.
Another one of Rosenthal's distinguished qualities is his keenness to siphon influence from any situation or interest. For instance, “Ann Marie” is an observant nod to Rosenthal’s love of boxing. The title concerns a certain WBC pugilist who recovered from a near-fatal car crash to become a three-time World Lightweight Champion. “Little Old Man” is a song for his cat. Two very different subject matters but both addressed (lyrically and musically) with utmost precision.
For my money, this album qualifies Rosenthal as not just an excellent singer-songwriter but as a fine human. The final dedication in the album sleeve rests with all the wildlife who were killed or maimed in the “BP oil leak”. Not only has “Toke” created a musically adventurous and lyrically incisive album, but he has also hinted at human qualities that are not usually found in the common singer-songwriter. Thus I conclude that Tokyo Rosenthal is not an ordinary singer-songwriter and “Who Was That Man?” is not an ordinary album. Terrific from start to finish.
Review by: Peter McGee
NO DEPRESSION REVIEW OF GHOSTS
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Tokyo Rosenthal: Ghosts •by John (Biscuits and Gravy) Davy on February 17, 2010 ...Tokyo Rosenthal: Ghosts
•by John (Biscuits and Gravy) Davy on February 17, 2010
There's a suitably spooky cover photo for this recent album by 'Tokyo' Rosenthal; his head covered by a boxer's hood, the picture has been given a mottled treatment that makes him look like a statue in a graveyard about to come to life - or possibly a living person in the process of being turned to stone. Ghostly, indeed. Toke's songs are ghosts, too. Clearly notes to himself about people, relationships, moods and events in his life, they deal with recognisably 'real' things but resist being pinned down to specifics and shimmer away from you just at the moment you think you've grasped them. Not a bad thing, of course, because it gives the listener scope to insert his or her own experiences into the song.
Musically, this is a pretty diverse collection; in a way it reminded me of Clive Gregson's approach. Both men are songwriters first and foremost and are prepared to return to rock and roll or embrace a 'folk' sound or whatever seems appropriate as the mood takes them. On Ghosts, three or four different instruments are employed to provide the key sound in different arrangements. There's Lisa Lacheau's flute on two songs that introduces echoes of some woodland arcadia; there's Bobby Britt's spirited fiddle playing, pitched somewhere between central European folk style and Scarlet Rivera in Dylan's Desire period. Quite fantastic, really and providing the urgency that absolutely makes this album's stand-out song, Mister, Tell Me 'Bout The Great Depression. There's a sombre, reflective cello counterbalanced by delicate playing on banjo and mandolin on 'House on the River' and then, finally, there's the excellent Al Perkins playing pedal steel on three songs to give a definitively 'country' tone. And Then You Sang is one of these and here Toke really does go for the full country sound with that big resonating guitar sound in the middle eight and a pleasingly mellow laid-back arrangement.
Mister, Tell Me 'Bout The Great Depression is a very good song indeed; wrapping up this whole decade of bad wars and bad economics in one short song, he pretty much nails the whole shebang as seen from the level of the ordinary Joe, and does it in the style of one of those songs that seem to be the voice of a whole layer of society, not just one man. It's a song of these times for all time and big thanks to him for writing it.
That's a very immediate song, but there's lots of slowly discovered pleasures to be had from Ghosts; he's a thoughtful songwriter with an interseting way of going about things.
USA TODAY REVIEW OF GHOSTS
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CD Review: Ghosts by Tokyo Rosenthal January 21st, 2010 by Simon Barrett in ...
CD Review: Ghosts by Tokyo Rosenthal
January 21st, 2010
by Simon Barrett in Music Reviews,
I have a soft spot for Toke (pet name for those in the in crowd), he is one of those great musicians thats just keeps coming up with great music. I loved his first two albums One Score And Ten, and Love Won Out, and it was with great anticipation that I unwrapped Ghosts and popped it on the player.
Ghosts is a bit of a change of pace for Toke, some of the tracks are far more rock oriented than his previous adventures. I say that with a positive twist. Maybe he was becoming a little complacent and it was high time to turn the excitement level up. The opening track Inside Your Skull certainly shows that rock ability.
Track 5, House On The River sees a return to the Tokyo that we know so well.
To quote from a movie that I know many people have watched “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get next.” This quote though sums up Ghosts very well. Toke take off in new musical directions, Fiddles, Steel Guitars, Banjos, Cello’s, and even the often much maligned Accordion make appearances.
Diversity is the key to longevity in the music world. Toke demonstrates with authority that he has that diversity. He is a musician that is destined for great things. I had a delightful chat with him following the release of Love Won Out. I think he was slightly frustrated with the music world. When I asked him was his next project was going to be, he explained:
I am going on the coal miners daughter tour. I am filling up the trunk of my car with copies of the CD and I am going to bang on every radio stations door on the eastern seaboard!
I liked that response. Toke doesn’t wait for people to find him, he gets proactive! By the way, the coal miners daughter approach worked very well. I cannot recall the exact chart position he achieved, but it was pretty darn impressive.
Oh, and I did discover that Tokyo Rosenthal is not his real name. He used to be a professional boxer, and for effect took up the name for the sake of the ring. His real name is a mystery to me, but I do know that even his mother now calls him Toke.
Ghosts is a very much a work that reaches out, the different musical styles and influences make me wonder if Toke is testing the waters to see which direction to head in next.
If you look at many artists you find that the third album is a watershed, and that certainly seems the case with Ghosts. I liked it all, I am a Toke fan. The only downside that I see is how he can perform some of the tracks live. It is not practical to tour with a huge band of people that only play on a few songs.
However I suspect that Toke has a plan, I’d be willing to bet that he has some ‘juiced up’ acoustic versions for the road. One of the amazing things about artists like Tokyo Rosenthal is their ability to move from the studio with all of the editing gizmo’s and play the same song live on a stage.
I will be interviewing Tokyo this afternoon at 4pm central (5pm eastern) live on Blog Talk Radio, we will be playing a couple of tracks from Ghosts, and you can bet that I have lots of questions for him.To listen in, point your web browser to www.blogtalkradio.com a couple of minutes before we go on air, you will see the link to listen in.
WYCE REVIEW OF GHOSTS
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February 22, 2010 When I first picked up this release from a man named Tokyo Rosenthal, the las...February 22, 2010
When I first picked up this release from a man named Tokyo Rosenthal, the last thing I expected to hear was a terrific release from an Americana singer/songwriter. Tokyo otherwise known as Toke starts this release with the most rock oriented track “Inside Your Skull” a track that is so catchy it may never leave. “There Is No Love” is a folk track that features the fiery fiddle of Bobby Britt who is also featured on “Mister Tell Me About The Great Depression” and “Goin’ On Saturday” two tracks that have a certain Willey’s feel to them. “Feelings Don’t Know Any Age” begins slow and builds to an up-tempo jazz sound that reminded me of Dave Brubecks classic Take Five and featured some great flute from Lisa Lecheau. This Ghost from North Carolina may get inside your skull and not leave, but don’t worry, it’s a good thing.
Reviewed By: Gregg Saur
COUNTRY MUSIC JOURNAL REVIEW OF GHOSTS
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Since three decades, this guy tours with his music, often also throughout Europe. Nevertheless the n...Since three decades, this guy tours with his music, often also throughout Europe. Nevertheless the name Tokyo Rosenthal won’t ring too many bells in the average music fan. Toke, as his friends call him, has opened for Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) among others. He does not mind to be categorized but still is hard to do so. If any, I would go for Americana as a sorting hint.
There are several Rosenthal albums to be found, the most recent being Ghosts, published by Rock Sock Records. All tracks are penned by Rosenthal. One of my favorites on this record is Still She Thanks God, a song he wrote about his mother who is also his greatest fan. The lyrics of Mister Tell Me ’Bout The Great Depression is a clear hint at the mistakes politicians and economy leaders constantly make, be it today or earlier in time. Mankind just doesn’t seem to learn from the past.
The titletrack Ghosts and House On The River are two further examples of Rosenthal’s exceptional songwriting skills. Be it ballads or rather rocking titles such as Inside Your Skull, this musician masters all facettes.
USA TODAY REVIEW- "LWO"
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USA TODAY/BNN CD Review: Love Won Out by Tokyo RosenthalPosted on October 28th, 2008 by Simon Bar...USA TODAY/BNN
CD Review: Love Won Out by Tokyo RosenthalPosted on October 28th, 2008 by Simon Barrett in Music Reviews
orig. link -http://content.usatoday.com/topics/article/Places,+Geography/Towns,+Cities,+Counties/Tokyo/016l1ZTaYh5Jq/1
Hardly a day goes by when I am not surprised by the music industry. There are so many great artists, and yet so little time to admire them, and even less time to discover new ones. Great artists are everywhere, the problem is, how do you find them in the ‘white noise’ that the mass media immerses us in? I would say I go looking, but that isn’t the truth, it comes and finds me. Love Won Out certainly is in that category, it found me, and I am damn glad it did!
With a name like Tokyo Rosenthal, I had the image conjured up in my mind of someone vaguely Japanese, with maybe some Jewish influence! Well I was wrong, but there again I am often wrong. What did surprise me though was that this barrista of Americana has been on the music scene for three decades and I had never heard him before. Even stranger, last year he had a big hit with his song Edmonton. At the time I was living in Alberta’s other major city Calgary about 150 miles away. The story goes that Tokyo is a bit of an Ice Hockey fan, and Edmontonians adopted Tokyo’s song as the Oiler’s pursued their quest for Sir Stanley’s Cup.
Love Won Out is a delightful journey into the land of story songs with an acoustic guitar accompaniment. I love to pigeon hole musicians, to give them labels, to put them neatly in the filing cabinet! I swore that I would never do this, but I do! Tokyo is a bit of an odd bird, there are so many musical influences that permeate his songs that the review would likely just result in a long list of just about every solo artist I have ever liked.
Kicking off with Saint Patrick’s Day, we get a glimpse into Tokyo’s wide repertoire. This is a light soft rock ballad, with some complex musical arrangements behind it. This is a classic song waiting to be discovered. In some ways this one song sums up Tokyo’s style. At first listen it is simplistic, but when you listen again you start to pick up the nuances and the complexities of this composition. Each time I listened to this track I found something new and fun.
Track three Little Poetry Girl, is right out of the Donovan play book. In fact had I not known that this was Tokyo Rosenthal, I would have bet a dollar on it being from Donovan. The meter, and word smithing and deliverance are identical, maybe I was hearing things, but I could have sworn that there was some harmonica in there as well! Of course there is one major difference, Donovan has long since distanced himself from his fans. I tried for months to get an interview with him, finally, via a third party I got a “He doesn’t do interviews”. I suspect that Tokyo is much more approachable.
I Care If You Do (track 5) is a journey down the country lane, with a slightly bluegrass and slightly hillbilly feel about it. This is the kind of song that you would expect to find on CMT with a great video in support.
Love Won Out (track 7) takes us in yet another musical direction, with what sounds like a slide guitar, this track screams blues, blues, blues at you! You can check this one out for free, and who doesn’t like free?
How has this great musician stayed under the radar for so long? That is a complex question and one that I could apply to so many great artists. The world is jam packed with great musicians, yet what is rammed down our throats on TV and Radio is what big media wants, it has little to do with what the consumer wants.
Take my advice, and I am old and jaded! Take ‘Toke’ out for a spin, this is a no lose proposition.
Rumor has it that he is pretty much permanently on tour, so check out his web site and see if he is coming to your town.
Love Won Out can also be ordered through Amazon.
Great CD, this one gets five stars from this old and jaded reviewer. It is so good to find something new and refreshing. Watch out Toke, you just came on the radar!
LOVE WON OUT -AMERICANA DAILY
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Americana Daily Americana - Country Alt - Country and Western - Country Swing - Classic Country - Ro...Americana Daily Americana - Country Alt - Country and Western - Country Swing - Classic Country - Rockabilly - Hillbilly - Folk - Folk Rock
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tokyo Rosenthal - Love Won Out
Tokyo Rosenthal - Love Won Out - An Americana Daily Review
I discovered Tokyo Rosenthal the way many people discover new artists; via the internet. And, in one of those funny little twists of fate that people sometimes call coincidence, his new CD, Love Won Out, found its way into my player.
The first thing that strikes you about Tokyo Rosenthal is his name; it conjures up all kinds of images. And, the second thing is that he writes in all kinds of styles. He's bloozy, jazzy, folky, country and a little bit funky rock and roll. His picture on the cover even looks bloozy, jazzy, folky, country and a little bit funky rock and roll.
Tokyo Rosenthal is a gifted singer-songwriter who goes wherever the songs take him. From the opening riff on St. Patrick's Day, he follows the songs through jingle-jangle folkland, cool-late-60's Morrison (Van) jazzland, cool-late-'60's Morrison (Jim) jazzland, straight on through to 21st century anthemville with the title cut, Love Won Out, a head-on blues number with a dead-on message about gay-rights.
By the end of the journey, he's traveling through time as well as sound, ending up back near the beginning with a West-Coast country-folkrock ballad that could have been penned in 1968, Goodnight Carrie, I'm Coming Home.
With production assistance from Chris Stamey (a legendary musician/producer himself) and a solid group of players behind him, Tokyo Rosenthal's Love Won Out is a journey worth taking. Join him.
Love Won Out
Rock and Sock Records - © 2008 Bronx Flash Music
Reviewed for Americana Daily by s j welker
MUSIC TAP REVIEW- "LWO"
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REVIEWS MUSIC TAP Tokyo Rosenthal Love Won Out Release Date: September 30, 20... REVIEWS
Love Won Out
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Produced by: Tokyo Rosenthal w/Chris Stamey
11/19/2008 Bob Olsen
OK…Matt threw this review at me because the artist listed the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers as influences. His first mistake…I expected soaring harmonies and chiming 12-string guitars. Instead, I got a very polished and well-executed slice of Americana. While the Byrds' influence is buried (this is primarily an acoustic effort), I was surprised to hear some very distinctive Gene Clark phrasings and textures.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect…this guy has been around for some three decades and has been wandering a national club circuit. I will tell you, however, that this is a SOLID effort that can be a breakthrough disc for this artist. If you had to apply a label to TR, it might be in the progressive country real. I picked up a sense of Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson in the tracks for this album.
The first cut, “St. Patrick’s Day” is a real gem and could be a breakthrough country hit if it can get a toehold. The title track, “Love Won Out,” is dedicated to TR’s late brother and is becoming a Pro Gay Marriage anthem. It’s a bluesy riff that becomes even more poignant in light of the banning of gay marriage in CA in the last election. While I’m straight, I have a difficult time understanding the logic of a state's electorate that will deny the rights of any two people who love each other and want to commit. At the same time, voters in CA opted to make sure that the chickens and pigs that we slaughter have enough room to turn around in their cages before we eat them. “Don’t ask, don’t tell, you can go to hell cause love won out.“
Back to the album…
There’s some damn fine work on this release “Word for You,” and “Goodnight Carrie, I’m coming Home” are just pretty tunes and feature some great mandolin work. I’m giving this a **** ½ star rating and have no hesitations in recommending “Love Won Out” to our readers.
Review #1 - Whisperin and Hollerin REVIEW OF ONE SCORE AND TEN
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There's fake country music, and then there's Tokyo Rosenthal (http://www.tokyorosenthal.com). On "On...There's fake country music, and then there's Tokyo Rosenthal (http://www.tokyorosenthal.com). On "One Score and Ten," Rosenthal's voice is thrust into the front of the mix, and there's no need to figure out why. This man can truly sing. Not a flashy vocalist by any means, but Rosenthal can draw you into his lyrics in the much the same way that James Taylor and Don Henley can. You want to know what he's singing about because his voice captivates you. It's raw and in your face yet is in tune with the subtleties of human emotion. Rosenthal knows his limitations and how to harness his strengths. That's the sign of a true artist.
And, really, it doesn't get too much better than "One Score and Ten." In fact, this CD is among the year's best albums, no matter what the genre. Opening up with the sly Doors homage of "My Reflection" (wherein you will hear "Break On Through" haunting the flow of strummed guitars), Rosenthal already shows what he's capable of with his stunning way with words; there's a swagger in his delivery that takes command not only of the song but your attention as well. The guitar work on "My Reflection" is mesmerizing, too, as Rosenthal shifts from acoustic propulsion to an electric bonfire.
Reviews #2 -SHOTGUN REVIEWS - ONE SCORE AND TEN
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f you think that songwriting died with the passing of Warren Zevon, then you need to hear Tokyo Rose...f you think that songwriting died with the passing of Warren Zevon, then you need to hear Tokyo Rosenthal to reaffirm your faith in rock and roll as a literary vehicle. To the cynics out there, comparing an obscurity like Rosenthal to an icon such as Zevon may seem like the most bogus hyperbole. But this isn’t bullshit. The only thing preventing that comparison from carrying legitimate weight is that nobody outside of Edmonton, Canada knows who the hell Rosenthal is.
Wait - Edmonton, Canada? Say what?
Rosenthal has written probably the only song dedicated to that Canadian city, and I’m sure the natives love him for it. “When I saw your eyes crying out/I can’t explain/The ache and agony driving me/Turning my day into night/Made me fight to reach your soul,” Rosenthal sings on “Edmonton.” If you probe deeper, you’ll see that Edmonton represents a man’s search for emotional fulfillment. It can be about a lover as well as a place.
Rosenthal writes about relationships with a mature outlook that nonetheless doesn’t find him wiser with age. He tries to forget an old flame on “Too Late for Me, Carolina?” but is unable to and on “The End of My Rope,” he reaches his lowest point. “But true love/Won’t wash away with soap,” Rosenthal laments on “The End of My Rope,” blending the perfect mix of melancholy and sarcasm.
This is Americana with real teeth in the lyrics.
Review #3 -CDREVIEWS.COM - ONE SCORE AND TEN
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December 6th, 2007Tokyo Rosenthal - One Score and TenPosted by editor in Alphabetical Listing, R ...December 6th, 2007Tokyo Rosenthal - One Score and TenPosted by editor in Alphabetical Listing, R
Edmonton’s adopted son evokes memories of Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson. -Michael Sutton
Take Jackson Browne’s personal confessions and wrap them in Kris Kristofferson’s world-weary tales of broken relationships, and you have an idea of what to expect from Tokyo Rosenthal. The North Carolina-based singer/songwriter has become somewhat of a popular figure in Edmonton, Canada for the track, “Edmonton.” However, Rosenthal is no mere novelty. And while his voice doesn’t sound like Browne’s or Kristofferson’s, his songwriting is cut from the same cloth. If this were the ’70s, Rosenthal would be on a major label, and none of these high-reaching comparisons are questioned whatsoever.
“Edmonton” will get the attention of his newly-formed fanbase but that’s far from the best tune here. The maturity and painful honesty of “Long Ago I Knew Someone Like You” and “You’re Dead to Me Now” hit the gut like a crowbar. Anybody who has experienced such profound heartache will not only be able to relate to Rosenthal but made to look back on what went wrong. “Now we sing a sad sad song/You stay at home alone and cry/I was not aware that could hurt me like this/Deep inside,” Rosenthal mourns on “Long Ago I Knew Someone Like You.” Those lines are not only delivered by a man who is old enough to have gone through a couple of personal hells but isn’t afraid to speak of his own mistakes. Rosenthal’s words have the immediacy and intimacy of a diary, one with a set of details. In “You’re Dead to Me Now,” Rosenthal sings, “Your card fell out as I was leaving/My pills fell from my tissue to the floor.”
Rosenthal is among the brightest lights in the Americana arena today. You simply do not see lyrics that are as poignant as this too often. Thankfully, the music is there to back it up. “My Reflection” uses the Doors’ “Break On Through” as a launching pad before erupting into electric fireworks. “What’s So Bad ‘Bout Bein’ Misunderstood” envelopes Rosenthal’s fireplace-warm vocals with jangling guitars and violins while “The End of My Rope” features lovelorn acoustic riffs that move the listener as much as Rosenthal’s painful words.
Once you listen to One Score and Ten, you won’t be playing anything else for a while.
As a headliner or opening act in a concert environment we'll play most of the songs off the four CDs(40 tunes) and interpret another half dozen songs or so in our style. This would make up an approx. 45-90 minute show depending on the venues need.
As an "in house" full night act, we can play 3 hours,again playing our originals and a mix of country rock, blues, and "acoustic soul". Our covers range from Jesse Colin Young to Gene Clark to Emmy Lou Harris tunes as well as some more obscure artists. And of course lots of blues!
|Mar 2, 2014 Sunday||12:00 PM||GO TO WWW.TOKOROSENTHAL.COM FOR ALL GIG INFO||Chapel Hill, NC, US|