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Album Review

Workdogs have described their music as "talking blues." While that description doesn't quite apply to their more rock-oriented follow-up, Old, it definitely applies to their debut, Roberta. Originally released on vinyl by Ohio's Okra in 1988, it was reissued on CD by Sympathy for the Record Industry in 1993 with bonus track, "Jane Gone." Throughout the recording, the New York duo of Scott Jarvis on drums and Rob Kennedy on bass and vocals (with accompaniment on guitar, saxophone, piano, harmonica, etc.) have rambling on their mind. The centerpiece of their ramblings, the title track "Roberta," clocks in at over 16 minutes and relates the epic tale of the singer's — or, more accurately, the talker's — obsession with a seductive kleptomaniac first encountered while in grade school. Roberta is the real folk-blues by way of Lou Reed and R. Crumb (i.e., "Woman Is More Than a Box We Come In"). ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The Workdogs consists of Rob Kennedy (bass, vocals) and Scott Jarvis (drums), who have provided the backbeat for Half Japanese, Velvet Monkeys, and a number of other bands over the years (Jarvis also produced and engineered the Beastie Boys' Pollywog Stew EP and served as their tour manager when they hooked up with Madonna's 1985 Like a Virgin tour). The only Workdogs' constant is change as they've operated under a different lineup for most every release and/or live performance. Jon Spencer (Pussy...
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Roberta, Workdogs
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