Ed Romanoff

 

Ed RomanoffSelf-released ***

For his debut album, this New Yorker called on some heavyweight friends (Josh Ritter, Mary Gauthier, Tift Merritt). But methinks the real inspiration behind Ed Romanoff’s thoughtful and atmospheric collection is the great Texas bard Guy Clark and, to a lesser extent, Leonard Cohen. Certainly the opening track, St Vincent de Paul – which movingly relates Romanoff’s search for his birth father – echoes Clark’s mastery of the pithy narrative, in which time and circumstance take on leading roles. Romanoff is an impressive performer, a whispered baritone swathed in layers of jangled richness. His vivid songs of life’s vicissitudes display their bruises with a dignified reserve. That said, not all 11 tracks hit the spot with the same intensity or purpose – a gravelly cover of I Fall to Pieces is especially ill conceived – but there’s enough here to spark some interest. edromanoff.com

Download:St Vincent de Paul, Ladyluck

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