Rocky Votolato

The Brag & Cuss (Barsuk)

Rocky Votolato lo-fi folk alt-country
Since going solo several years back, ex-Waxwing frontman Rocky Votolato has migrated from stereotypical lo-fi folk to alt-country. The Brag & Cuss finds Votolato venturing further in that direction. Employing organist Rick Steff (Lucero, Chan Marshall), Votolato has added more dusty harmonica and banjo ballads to his sound.

The guy is a decent songwriter, but his voice sells the music. Like Rhett Miller, Votolato possesses a warm, supple croon with a hint of whiskey rasp.

Copping all the standard country moves, the former Texan cites the bottle repeatedly, from "Whiskey Straight" to "Your Darkest Eyes," which lure him "into drinking to kill the pain." "The Wrong Side of Reno" even mentions a train whistle. While Votolato scores with lines like "The world we live in is golden/Gilded with every lie we live through," he can't avoid clichés.

Votolato has created a pleasantly appealing album without traction, sliding in and out of your awareness while registering barely a ripple.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.