Seth Rosenbloom – Keep On Turning
9 songs – 39 minutes
Hailing from Waltham, Mass., Seth Rosenbloom follows up on a previous EP with this album, which should be a welcome change of pace for anyone who loves red-hot guitar but has grown weary of a world dominated by over-the-top blues-rockers.
Rosenbloom is the son of classical violinists and studied the instrument himself. His interest in guitar began at age 11 when he saw the Jack Black movie, School Of Rock. He saved his pennies and bought an Ibenez SG soon after. He became fascinated with progressive metal, but turned to the blues after witnessing Joe Bonamassa in concert at age 13.
A quick study on six-string, Seth started playing in bands in high school, and was only 16 when he drew notice of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music, which awarded him a scholarship based on his merit as a performer. He spent years developing his skills as a sideman in several bands in New England, Tennessee and North Carolina, and has become a popular clinic instructor.
Recorded at guitar master Josh Smith’s Flat V Studios in Reseda, Calif., this CD includes six tasty originals and three well-executed and reconfigured covers. Rosenbloom’s guitar play features tasty single-note runs delivered slightly behind the beat, and his vocals follow suit in a warm tenor.
He’s backed here by a top West Coast rhythm section — bassist Travis Carlton (Steve Perry, Chris Cain and Robben Ford) and drummer Gary Novak (David Crosby, Jessy J and Fantasia) – with Scott Kinsey (Manhattan Transfer) on keys. They’re augmented by Smith, who provides rhythm on two cuts, and a horn section composed of Jamelle Adisa (trumpet) and Don Boissy (sax). Backing vocals are delivered by Raquel Rodriguez and Vanessa Bryan, and Alan Hertz contributes tambourine on one cut.
“For me, playing the blues is all about expressing emotions,” Rosenbloom says. “That is the key to making great music overall and great blues in particular.”
It’s evident from the first notes that he practices what he preaches.
The unhurried slow blues “Keep On Turning,” one of three originals here penned with Sonya Rae Taylor, opens the action. The theme’s very mature: that you should count your blessings, watch your tongue, stay true to yourself and take advantage of what you can while you’re young because time waits for no one. Seth’s mid-tune solo is soaked with emotion, but so brief it leaves you yearning for more.
The action heats up for “Crawling Back,” a medium-tempo blues-rocker about a lady who tries to return after walking away. Rosenbloom drives home his message that she’s no longer welcome with stinging six-string fills and runs. The loping stop-time shuffle “I Can’t Help It” continues the message as Seth announces he’s focused on someone else.
The horns make their first appearance for a swinging cover of B.B. King’s “Heartbreaker” before another slow-blues original , “Right About Now,” which enables Seth space to stretch out vocally before his six-string skills come into play with brief mid-tune solo and an extended ending runs.
Next up, the guitar hook to Elmore James’ “Look Over Yonders Wall” comes through loud and clear throughout, but the song gets a funky new stop-time treatment. Rosenbloom’s sterling break would put a smile on the master’s face.
The slow-blues pleaser “Broke And Lonely” offers up hope for anyone pursuing a dream before the medium-tempo “Come Back Around” delivers a plea for a lady to return from an all-night, head-clearing ride. The album concludes with an updated, uptempo cover of Leon Russell, Don Nox and Duck Dunn’s “Palace Of The King,” most famously recorded by B.B.
Seth Rosenbloom is a guitar player’s guitar player. His ceiling is unlimited. Available through Amazon and iTunes, this CD is a welcome addition for any lover of true blues. Strongly recommended.