Top 5 Albums of 2005 - KVNF DJ Cow Patty on The Redneck Riviera
"This album is easy to describe - superb... This is a modern project steeped in traditionalism, it is sort of at the point where John Prine meets Jimmie Rodgers with 13 story songs written by lead vocalist Rick Rowland. Rowland has a great voice and a real feel for traditional music as do the rest of this Washington, DC based band.
Sven Abow plays effective drums whilst Eric Leifert keeps his upright bass tight. Riley McMahon is a real treasure playing guitars, mandolin, banjo, lap steel, harmonica and organ and singing backup as though he were living and playing seventy or so years ago." -- Pete Smith, Country Music Round Up Magazine, England
"One Left’s Songs from the Wound has Hank’s stripped-down cool. This disc also brings back fond memories of the great late ‘80s cowpunk bands – Beat Farmers, Lone Justice, Beat Rodeo – I listened to in college.
From the first fiddle-like-a-freight-train-comin’ of “Adios Mi Corazon,” One Left reeled me in. Okay, I thought, that song rocks like a Bakersfield roadhouse, but can these guys keep it up?
Absolutely. Next comes the loping “What About Tomorrow” a drinker’s lament. “Bonita Gone Home” follows, a juke-joint sing-along with a bluesy piano touch.
Singer Rick Rowland has the fitting whiskey-soaked drawl for this kind of music. He also wrote every tune on Songs from the Wound, and he pens straightforward lyrics that are twists on familiar country themes. Even when he veers a little close to cliché, as on “Every Dream I Dream” and “Tonight Put a Ribbon In Your Hair,” he’s saved by the sincerity of what he’s singing.
(In fact, the more I listen to “Ribbon,” the more it sounds like one of Bruce Springsteen’s country efforts, and I’ve always had a soft spot for those.)
The edgy “John Killinger” is like a shot of bourbon in your coffee after the sleepless night of “Every Dream.” “Killinger” is a rollicking yarn about a bad dude, sinister yet sympathetic, who “sings to the stars and howls at the moon and prays for those in his way.”
Then comes the song that most conjures the ghost of Hank, “I Can’t Believe.” Hank could turn a clever couplet (rhyming “over the fence” with “five or 10 cents,” for example), and I can hear him singing Rick’s “We gone and laid down these here roots so why she want her walking boots.”
Perhaps my favorite cut is “True Love’s So Hard to Lose” – I say that because lately I find myself singing the simple, plaintive chorus: “True love’s so hard to lose, you get those lonesome blues.” It’s also a good tune for recognizing the talents of drummer Sven Abow and almost-everything-stringed picker Riley McMahon.
Abow plays what sounds like a simple, snare-heavy trap set, and it’s perfect for this kind of music. And McMahon is particularly adept at electrified twang and lap steel.
Someone’s not given credit for the hurdy gurdy-like sound that is so eerily nifty about “That Side’s Hers.” The songs stands out as another clever take on a familiar theme – this time the rambling man who is torn between settling down and taking off – and for McMahon’s minor-key banjo picking.
Too often, I listen to the local radio stations and wonder whatever happened to the traditional country music I like. I was beginning to figure maybe it was a figment of my imagination, a fusion that only I could hear of the Clash’s “Brand New Cadillac” and that old Waylon Jennings record of my dad’s.
Songs from the Wound is a true find, a CD that’s real close to my elusive ideal. You want to get back to the roots of country? Forget Nashville. Try a disc like this, hardcore backwoods sounds by way of Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. " -- Chip Withrow, The Muse's Muse
"I'm very impressed, every song on the record is excellent. From the songwriting to the vocals, and the boys in the band couldn't be more dead on.... They're the "gravy"! That's real excellent playing!
I never like to compare artists and always try to find everyone's unique individual slice.... So, with that said can't help but feel and hear a lot of (Lou Reed, Hank, Kris, Earle, Gram Parsons) in your vocals and songwriting... and that's said as I'm holding a mug of beer up in your honor. Great New Record! Keep It Up!" -- Teresa Hamilton, Program Director MOXIE Radio
**** "Take the style of, say, a John Prine, or the late Townes van Zandt, and hook it up with a musical backing circa the era of Hank Williams, and you've got this one dialed in. Take rock solid rhythm, embellish it with McMahon's strings, add some guest piano and fiddle icing to complement the flavour of Rick Rowland's writing, the main ingredient, and pop it into the changer for a tad over 46 minutes. Presto! A baker's dozen, 13 slices of primo Americana." Don Grant, Freight Train Boogie
"One Left is a special singer, and his way to present his songs is also special. Maybe I'm an old freak as remember when the STEREO SOUND entered the country music, and the different studios did all they could to impress the listeners. I donít think One Left wants to impress anybody with his music set up, but he is an artist as have ear for the small things as mean a lot... it's real good and awake attention. Artist One Left will be a pleasant surprise for my listening audience, and I can't nearly wait to present (them)." -- Dann Hansen. Roskilde Radio, Denmark
"Upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and lap steel â the third production of the Washington, D.C. band One Left is a traditional one... The songs tell the stories of life, and the lyrics have depth and substance. They remind of songwriters like Steve Earle or John Prine. John Killinger tells the story of someone who's been on the streets fending for himself since the age of twelve. Cheap Hotels gives testimony of the straight road into the bottomless pit of booze and cheap hotels after a great love has ended. Other titles, from Tonight Put A Ribbon In Your Hair to True Loveís So Hard To Lose or Every Dream I Dream are songs about relationships, but with lyrics that go far beyond the general and superficial "I love you and you love me." -- BRUNO MICHEL Country Music Journalist, Switzerland (Translation by Ruth Boggs) t, Switzerland (Translation by Ruth Boggs)
"The CD "Songs From The Wound" is a tribute to the song writing of lead singer Rick Rowland & the musicianship of this Independent Band & their unique sound, a great CD" -- Slinga's Independent Artist Showcase 88.9 WYN FM. MELBOURNE.
"Great singer and band - lots of good songs on this album" -- Shetland Radio BBC, Scotland
"Super album - Adios Mi Corazon one of the best tunes - but lots to choose from!" -- Osttirol Radio, Austria.
"Beautiful album - special favorite songs Every Dream I Dream and Hey Lordy Mama" -- KCR 97, Ireland
Top 5 Artists for August -- Alt Country Cooking, Netherlands
"Will be my Album of the week! - Adios Mi Corazon playlisted" -- Compagnie Radio, Netherlands
"Excellent style of music - Adios Mi Corazon our first pick" -- Terre Franche 105.9, Belgium
"On our CD spotlite! - This is a very good album - I like the sound of One Left!" -- Country Jukebox Radio, France