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Album Review

Makers is Rocky Votolato's fourth album, appearing fittingly in line after 2003's Suicide Medicine, but with a worn resilience all its own. It finds Votolato sounding older and weathered, more content than jaded, and there's a modest quality to his steady voice that projects words as both sincere and comforting. Some songs are country-tinged — with touches of harmonica, pedal steel, violin, and piano supporting the focal acoustic guitar — but it's more that they simply evoke images of rural dirt roads, long walks and quiet autumn nights at home by the fireplace than anything completely Southern-fried. Genuinely charming, Votolato retains that gentle roughness in his performance, which matches up to the everyday guy kind of vibe running throughout the mostly relaxed set. He can pack quite a bit of emotion into just the slightest of inflections; "White Daisy Passing" showcases this straightaway with its warm vocal harmonies, while the tender mosey of the title track tears into listeners with its soft ruminations of death. Makers is a record tied to home, the imagery of songs like "Streetlights" and "The Night's Disguise" seemingly snapshots from one's own memory. Fans of Votolato's past work will fall for Makers in no time at all. And since the record has enough of those small moments — the touching ones that might take a few rounds to completely sink in — there's enough to not only keep them coming back for more, but to also leave behind a feeling as warm as a drink of its whiskey namesake.

Biography

Born: 1978 in Frost, Texas

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter Rocky Votolato was born in 1978 and spent his childhood on a 50-acre horse farm in rural Frost, TX (population 647), located 100 miles south of Dallas. Growing up amidst a backing soundtrack of Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and Johnny Cash, he had a semi-unconventional upbringing, as his father was a member of the Dallas-based motorcycle gang the Scorpions (rivals to the Hell's Angels). Rocky's mother moved the family to Seattle in his early teens, and he was soon inspired to start...
Full Bio

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