Listen Up: Wednesday, February 16, 2005
files\2005-02-16\lup1.jpg
201
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Stuart Rosh

Hummingbirds in Flight

By Billy Walters

In the middle of the intro to the first song on singer-songwriter Stuart Rosh’s sophomore album, Hummingbirds in Flight, one fierce and twangy Telecaster lick hints that a roots-rock extravaganza might be on its way. Interwoven among rolling bass and clean acoustic gee-tar strumming, this little bit of old-timey kick-ass threatens to deliver a bona fide hootenanny — until the vocals come in.
Rosh reportedly is a former aspiring opera singer (no lie), which goes a long way in explaining why this record can’t get off the ground. In his earthy, overly dramatic baritone, the singer continuously over-emphasizes vowel stretches, and there isn’t a consonant around that isn’t wrapped in his kung-fu death grip. Rosh sings as if he’s standing center-stage at the Met instead of where his music metaphorically comes from, inside a honkytonk.
The instrumental portions, however, are two-steppin’ serious. Two stand-out players are Shad Cobb from the Osborne Brothers on fiery fiddle and the Delbert McClinton Band’s Rick Gordon on twang-ilicious guitar.
The lyrics reveal that Rosh at least has his heart in the right place. The album is chock full of tales of love, reflection, regret, and gratitude — the stuff of any good rootsy record. And when Rosh stands firmly atop this simple, traditional terrain — as he does throughout most of the c.d. — he’s OK. It’s during the couple of times that he strays out into the wilds of “deep thought” that he loses ground — not because he lacks earnestness, but because the bigger subjects he’s trying to tackle require a more masterly wordsmith than he is.
Two cases in point: “Love is a Private Thing,” which examines Rosh’s adopted hometown of San Francisco and all of the immediate implications of the city of alternative love, and “Nothing At All,” a sloppy condemnation of Nashville’s Music Row. Both themes are best suited to delicate, original touches — nothing that this earthbound singer-songwriter can muster.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions