When he isn't writing songs about iguanas, slavery, and guilt, Rob Lopresti is generally found at the reference desk of a university library, helping astonished students discover that Google does not yet contain the entire sum of human knowledge. He also writes fiction - his new mystery novel SUCH A KILLING CRIME is set in the Greenwich Village folk scene, 1963.
And, of course, he plays the autoharp. Rob was raised in New Jersey, as a couple of the songs on his album make clear, but he has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1987.
The album contains eighteen songs, all of which Rob wrote. Themes include family, relationships that go wrong, and having the courage to do what needs to be done. Here are notes on a few of the songs.
"Fifteen Iguana" is a true story. A bunch of iguanas were pulled off a Caribbean island in a hurricane and survived a 200 mile trip on an old tree trunk. Rob thinks the song is so popular because people like to sing the iguana part in the chorus. Hearing a crowd squeak "We don't wanna!" is one of his favorite concert experiences.
"Robert Carter III" is also a true story. Carter was a vain, ignorant snob. He had no redeeming characteristics, except one: he personally freed more slaves than anyone else in American history.
"Nachshon" is based on an old Jewish legend about the Exodus. The song has started to be performed at Passover celebrations in many places.
"Reference Librarian" is a bragging blues about Rob's day job. He says: "A little laughter is good stress reduction for the overworked catalog jockey. Several people have bought the CD for their friends who share my profession. Hint, hint."
"White Wolf" also appears in Rob's novel. How many CD's feature a song written by a fictional novel?
"Can I Blame You?" is a funny love song, featuring a narrator who feels it is important to lay a proper groundwork for a relationship by deciding in advance whose fault the break-up will be.
"Take a Box" is his best known song. He claims to have no idea what it is about, "but a lot of people enjoy singing it."
Peter Berryman says "Rob Lopresti writes songs that beg to be sung." Faith Petric says his songs are "funny, tender, down to earth, all together a treat." Treat yourself today to "Can I Blame You?"