Roger Hoover review…October 31, 2016….

ROGER HOOVER

PASTURES

LAST CHANCE RECORDS  LCR 047

GIVE WHAT YOU GET BACK–OH HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED–DUST JUST A LITTLE–ALWAYS ON MY MIND–THERE;S SOMETHING IN MY HEART–ST. JOHN–DEVIL IN THE END–COOL BLUE STARTER–PASTURES–LIFE WE CREATE

For Roger Hoover, the keys to his success in the folk/Americana arena lie within his songs.  His latest album, “Pastures,” embraces the ideology that, as a society, we must create a life for those we leave behind that is infinitely greater than life in the now.  His hardscrabble, working-class characters embody this sentiment throughout.  The hero of the leadoff cut, “Give What You Get Back,” is undoubtedly a product of Roger’s Midwestern upbringing, and is a man who will “work the hills and mills as long as I am able.”  There’s the tale of the man who “goes to work every day,” but “Just A Little” bit of him is a “little boy at heart,” longing for a simpler time.  This cut and the love story of a “steamboat man” with a penchant for card-playing in Escanaba, Michigan, “Always On My Mind,” will bring to mind John Prine thru the descriptions of the characters and their daily struggles to get by.  The title cut deals with doing what we can to change our “Pastures,” to make the world a better place.

Our favorite closes the set.  Deep, Delta-fried slide and honky-tonk piano paints a bluesy picture of the “Life We Create,” including “listening to Leadbelly songs on the back porch with a glass of dandelion wine!”  This one is a message of hope for the future, and is pure, good ole gut-bucket blues!

That’s the fun thing with Roger Hoover and “Pastures.”  He’s not gonna be pigeon-holed, and he’s never afraid to take a musical risk.  And, us fans reap the benefits!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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