"...Rosler has added another off-ramp on the Great American Songbook highway. Rosler’s Recording Booth is a concept album that should find its way to the desk of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. There is a great TV series in these stories and the soundtrack has been taken care of.” Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood, a weblog about music
**** "Simply fantastic." Jeffrey Sisk, In Tune, The Daily News, PA
"This ingeniously conceived disc takes listeners into an old-fashioned recording booth, and imagines the disparate people who might have used it to send postcard albums to their friends and loved ones. Rosler's melodies are decidedly tuneful and are enriched enormously by a slight creepy seediness that makes one feel as if one's stumbled into a rundown carnival. Theater veterans Jeremy Sisto and Isabel Keating are on hand, along with artists such as Spottiswoode, Terry Radigan and Jon Albrink. This is a disc that listeners may find themselves returning to over and over." Andy Propst, Theatermania.com
"Totally enjoyed 'Rosler's'...It is all good, new and quite refreshingly different, to say the least." Mark Caldwell, WAWL
"I’ve got to say that Rosler’s Recording Booth is certainly one of the most interesting albums I have heard so far in 2011.... 'Doris from Rego Park' is an instant classic...." Eric Cohen, Music Director/WAER
"Enchanting...a masterful CD".... It was a walk through a musical museum. Each piece, specific, illuminating, unique, enriching. Sometimes surreal, sometimes absolute. Always magical." Grammy Award winning songwriter Julie Gold.
"Doris From Rego Park is a very poignant song that speaks to urban loneliness....." Jonathan Schwartz, WNYC & SiriusXM
Rosler's Recording Booth, a unique concept CD, written and produced by critically acclaimed and award-winning songwriter Don Rosler, garnered national attention weeks before its official release date, thanks to the single “Doris from Rego Park” generating buzz on WNYC, WFAN and in Ken Plutnicki's article, "Doris From Rego Park Lives On In Song" in The New York Times.
“Doris From Rego Park,” performed by Don Rosler, is one of sixteen contemporary songs on Rosler's Recording Booth, featuring ten fantastical artists: Spottiswoode, Jeremy Sisto, Isabel Keating, Terry Radigan, John Margolis, Kathena Bryant (of The Hippy Nuts), Tam Lin, Jon Albrink, Tamara Hey and Don Rosler. Many songs from Rosler's Recording Booth are now hitting the airwaves across America from California to New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Alaska.
The CD takes the listener on an eclectic Nino Rota meets Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen & Kurt Weill-like musical theatrical journey: A shy fella who drops a coin into the booth, struggling to send a one-minute audio postcard to his long-distance girlfriend (Rosler performing “Recording Booth”). The euphoric pronouncements of a cocky – or is he delusional? – lad serenading his gal from the Empire State Building Observatory (Spottiswoode singing “You Won’t Believe”). A wife who knows her WWII soldier’s most recent audio missive by heart (“We'll Have ‘Em All Over”) followed by “Give It a Whirl,” a carpe diem-fueled tarantella, both performed by Terry Radigan.
There’s lots of other short stories in song along the way, including the haunting Song-of-Seikilos-inspired ballad, “Where I've Been, What I've Done,” performed by Kathena Bryant, accompanied by 2010 Grammy nominated cellist Dave Eggar. The journey ends with Rosler, as Ringleader, singing “Take It Slow,” where he is visited by a ghostly reverie of sounds and voices (the Emily Bindiger Choir and the Rosler's Recording Booth Choir).
Rosler's Recording Booth also features film & television star Jeremy Sisto's singing debut, Tony nominee & Drama Desk Award winning actress and singer, Isabel Keating (with a special guest cameo by Isabel's mother Carmen Keating), and four more formidable artists: John Margolis, Tam Lin, Jon Albrink & Tamara Hey, accompanied by such virtuoso background vocalists and musicians as Jim Beard, Everett Bradley, Joshua Camp, Jim Gately, Shawn Pelton, Gary Schreiner and Peter Valentine.
Rosler used Wilcox-Gay Recordios & Voice-o-Graph recordings as a springboard for inspiring the concept. “There was a Voice-o-Graph record I hadn’t heard for many years, made by my Grandpa Abe and older brothers Mike and Dave when they were crammed into a recording booth at the Jolly Roger's arcade on Long Island. When I finally heard that Voice-o-Graph of them singing, and then years later a Kitchen Sister's report on NPR called ‘War and Separation,’ where they played Recordios exchanged amongst separated lovers and families, I was riveted.” Rosler continued, “I wrote these songs with some of the Recordios rolling around in my head. While I didn’t let these records dictate all of the characters or themes, they often, along with my ideas for the arrangement landscape, created some intriguing parameters.”
CD purchase includes cover art from an original painting by Patrick Bucklew and a 12-page booklet with lyric sheets and liner notes.
Don Rosler, creator, writer and producer of Rosler’s Recording Booth, has collaborated over the years with many stellar artists. As a lyricist, Don recently collaborated with 10 time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin and co-producers Roger Treece and Linda Goldstein on VOCAbuLarieS, which garnered three 2010 Grammy nominations. VOCAbuLarieS has been internationally hailed as a “masterpiece,” “heartstoppingly beautiful,” “an instant classic,” and Don was honored with a SESAC award for his contributions to VOCAbuLarieS. Rosler is also the co-producer and co-writer of John Margolis: Christine's Refrigerator CD, which Singer Magazine described as “a must add to any music connoisseur's collection.”
To read the other artist's bios, go to roslersrecordingbooth.com.
From Don's liner notes to the CD:
I only have a minute to tell you this, best I can!
Voices. Voice-o-Graphs. Wilcox-Gay Recordios. Shy, stoic, tender, fierce, giddy. A soldier in boot camp putting on a brave voice. A worried fiancée reassuring him they’ll meet in “All the Old Familiar Places”. Big, sloppy sing-around-the-piano songs, or quiet, plaintive ones. All types, all moods. Recorded in arcades, piers, VA Halls, lonely hotel rooms, State Fairgrounds, or, You Won’t Believe... way up high in the Empire State Building Observatory, where, not too far above the cramped Observatory Recordio Booth, rose up then, and still stands now, the re-crowned King Kong of radio transmitters (which I can see from my living room window on Barrow Street).
Earlier tonight, I somehow managed to drift asleep as the record needle was stuck in the end-skip on an unmarked, almost crumbling recording of two girls, somewhere, someplace, singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Think I dreamt they were skipping along some kind of uneven sidewalk as they sang. One had a band-aid on her chin...
When I drifted awake, the phone was cradled on my neck, and apparently I was on hold for a radio call-in show. I could swear I heard Doris from Rego Park, through the phone, on the air, but how is that possible (and if so, why was she blaming the fall of the Roman Empire on the trade of Dykstra?). Vague memory of my brother-in-law’s voice in the mix, leaving a phone message. Or was it Lou Gehrig? Disoriented. I should have gone easier on all the recorded goodbyes. Wish I could be reassured that plenty of those separated lovers, friends and family saw one another again (in their lifetimes, for starters). Which makes me wonder where my wife is and if she’ll ever forgive me.
Time to seek out soothing lullabys. A Recordio marked “Paul & Leo: Life is But a Dream” sounds more like an otherwordly boat ride, and that somehow morphs in my head into the haunting, eerie melody of “The Song of Seikolos”, as sung by my old music teacher, Mr. Zahn (I recall being less surprised upon learning that the first found artifact of western notated music was chilselled as an epitaph into Seikolos’ gravestone than I was by how cheerful the lyrics were). On the flip side, what was the cheerful melody with the sad lyric that my Dad used to whistle so bittersweetly? Or was it my uncle or grandfather? Our next-door neighbor? All of whom left this world some time ago, but are now accompanying me into this tunnel of sound onwards, and thankfully of late, much more upwards, towards the blue skies of my mind...
Bless all the souls in my dreams & in those recordings, who inspired me to send all these songs out to you. – Don Rosler