NO GOLD–LANDSLIDE TOWN–DIFFERENT WAYS TO LIE–NIGHTBIRDS–THE BREEZE–SIGNAL FIRES–SHELTER–ON MY WAY–DEAR SHADOW–GETAWAY MAN
After he released his first album, North Carolina-based guitarist-songwriter Rob Nance hit the road—hard—playing twenty states in 2014 to support “Lost Souls And Locked Doors.” Along this tour, he began to see changing landscapes not only out the car window, but , musically as well, sowing the seeds for what would become this album, “Signal Fires.” These ten originals paint a picture of small-town America and the denizens who live there. These characters all have flaws, and Rob is a master at conveying their hopes, fears, and dreams.
Rob’s guitar is expressive throughout, and he’s backed by brother Jordan on bass and pedal steel, Ryan Lassiter on drums, Mike Runyon on keys, ad Andrew Constantino on background vocals. The set begins with an extended acoustic and pedal steel intro to “No Gold,” where the sad truth is that “if yesterday don’t get you, tomorrow surely will.” “Nightbirds” has a laid-back groove with an Allman Brothers feel, while “The Breeze” combines Jordan’s pedal steel work with excellent keyboards from Mike. The title cut tells a poignant love story of a “full-grown flame raised from a spark” that later leads to “Signal Fires from a lonely heart.” “On My Way” is another guitar-and-organ-driven slice of small-town Americana, and Rob closes with fine flatpicked acoustic guitar in “Getaway Man.”
Our favorite was easy. That “angry young man” theme surfaces in “Landslide Town,” where “at seventeen, I got wasted out of fear,” and “always took a shine to the reckless kind.”
Rob Nance has created a set that is both musically diverse and familiar to his fans. “Signal Fires” indeed broadens his musical horizons! Until next time…..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.