Peter Rogan review….February 16, 2019….

PETER ROGAN

STILL TRYIN’ TO BELIEVE

MELT SHOP RECORDS

STILL TRYIN’ TO BELIEVE–THE ONLY ONE–KICKIN THE CAN–RIVER MAN–THE ROLLING MILL BLUES–MERCY–THE START OF SOMETHING EASY–SWEET BABY BLUES–BEAUTIFUL HONEY–BIG GREEN RAMBLER–SONG FOR KEITH–REPRISE

Peter Rogan sho’ nuff is a blue-collar blues man.  Clocking in at least five days a week as an electrician in a Pennsylvania steel mill  for the last eighteen years or so to feed his family, he always had a desire to follow his musical Muse.  He’s been a professional musician on the Philly scene for some thirty years, but only immersed himself into writing his own material over the last few years.  He worked for eighteen months on his debut release, with tracks laid down in Nashville, that resulted in “Still Tryin’ To Believe,” which hits the streets March 1.  It consists of twelve originals written in whole or in part by Peter, with a little help from friends such as Will Kimbrough and old friend Phil Madeira, who plays multiple instruments throughout the set.  Peter is on guitars and vocals throughout, with a cadre’ of seventeen backing musicians to round out this ensemble.

The set blends blues, Americana, a touch of country, and Peter’s love for Stones-inspired rock.  The title cut leads off, as our hero touches on his feelings of wanderlust, where, “to those who can dream, no place is far away!”  Baltimore siren Allison Dietz adds duet vocals on the set’s most country-themed song, “The Only One,” as Peter “flies too close to the sun” in lamenting his broken dreams, only to find redemption in the end.  A nod to his steel mill “hard hat and steel-toed shoes” churns with a Mississippi Hill Country fire as he tries to beat “The Rolling Mill Blues,” while “Sweet Baby Blues” has that “Exile-era” Stones feel, as our hero is mesmerized by the “bomb with the real long fuse” and those incredible eyes, with a downright psychedelic guitar solo at the break.

Two songs served as our favorites, each spiced with a touch of humor.  Peter channels more Jagger on the playfully-sexy “Big Green Rambler-I got plenty of room for you,” co-written by Phil.  Peter told us one cut was the most fun of all, and it served as our other favorite.  He gets his Philly rap on in a funky ode to procrastinators everywhere, with cars as the metaphorical subject of “Kickin The Can down the road,” where the signpost up ahead reads “deeper in debt, and a bleak existence!”

At the urging of Phil Madeira, Peter Rogan was encouraged to produce “Still Tryin’ To Believe” by himself.  It serves as a fine testimony to his perseverance, his faith in himself, and his willingness to pursue his dreams!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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