Andreas Rohde, guitar & vocals – Resonance/Analog Pearls Vol. 2 – Stockfisch

Andreas Rohde – Resonance/Analog Pearls Vol. 2 – Stockfisch SFR 357.4802.2 stereo-only SACD, 39:14, ****:

Acoustic music sounds great on this stereo SACD! 

(Andreas Rohde – 12-strung guitar, vocals/ Manfred Unger – saxophone, clarinet/ Gallagher Doc-Watson – guitar)

German label Stockfisch Records has established a bona fide home for folk players looking for a technological upgrade. The release of a collection by guitarist Andreas Rohde demonstrates how modern recording techniques can breathe life into music first recorded in 1983, before the digital revolution. In recording Resonance, the original tracks were done on 2-inch 16-track tape via the Telefunken (AEG) 15A . Re-mastered and converted by the Meltner ADC8 Mk IV Analog to 1-bit DSD, the sound quality is expanded and has a bigger kick.

The album gets off to a rousing start with the instrumental, “Busy As A Bee”. Rohde establishes a percolating tempo with a festive resonance. A touch of slide adds some texture. The title track represents a significant change of pace.  A gentle flow is weaved around some quasi-Hawaiian slide riffs. Picking up the pace, “Mr. Coolman” starts with a sprightly blues groove. The guitarist lists the incomparable Leo Kottke as a big influence. Rohde introduces us to his eccentric vocal stylings in this comic ode to hipness. Like many folk-based artists, self-reflection seeps into the repertoire. “Growin’ Old” has a repeat chorus line (“…Growing old ain’t easy to do…”) harmony vocals and a saxophone solo (Manfred Unger) which helps. But it seems that when the 12-string is featured solo on “The Boomerang”, the energy returns. It is palpable on the slide riffs that comprise “My Uncle Edward”. The joyful country essence shines on this cut.

One of the highlights is a rendition of Anton Karas’ unforgettable “Third Man Theme”. Rohde offers a faithful adaptation of the musical theme with some nimble slide work. By comparison, a folk ballad like “The Time Has Come” fails to take advantage of the innate dynamism of the guitar. Returning to instrumental arrangement, the finale  “Barracuda Bells” hits the mark. The “star” of this album is the 12-string. The natural reverberation is augmented on the SACD, and the overall sound is fuller. The booklet has photographs of the unusual equipment that was utilized on Resonance. 

TrackList: Busy As A Bee; Resonance; Mr. Coolman; Growin’ Old; The Boomerang; Everytime You’re Near; My Uncle Oswald; Third Man Theme; The Time Has Come; Barracuda Bells

—Robbie Gerson

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