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Buy this cd at ProxisCD OF THE WEEK (September 1999) :

(Deep Blue Something / distr. Via, DBS3300012)

Songs (click on the -icons for audio)
1. Went Down to the Seashore
2. Rose of Sharon
3. Box of Confusion
4. Time
5. Restless City
6. Steamfoot's Parade
7. King of the Rooftops
8. Shadowland
9. Icarus
10. Closer to Heaven
11. Went Down to the Seashore

Musicians :
- H.T. Roberts : lead vocal, guitar, harmonica, ukulele, omnichord, banjo, tin whistle, bass
- Bruno De Neckere : banjo, guitar, vocal
- Antony Boast : pedal steel, viola bragueza, percussion
- Lia Verrees : harmony vocals
- Niels Delvaux : percussion, drums
- Bart Maris : tuba, flugelhorn
- Nils De Caster : violin, viola bragueza
- Alex Rambaut : accordion
- Myra Quelle : casio
- Dr. Rhythm : low tom
- Koen De Waele : double bass

Recorded live around the kitchen table. Produced & mixed by H.T.Roberts & Antony Boast at The Long House.

Sleeve : Eva Craenhals

My opinion

It was released somewhere in March of this year, this fine cd, although that fact caused about as big a ripple as the dropping of a stone in the North Sea : the impact was swallowed immediately by the violence of the wave, mangled by a wave-crusher, stranded on the sand. A well-kept secret in fact, except for those who were standing closeby.
Still, I want to give my full support for this modest, but very high-quality piece of art from this sound technician (on the road with people like Perry Rose and Jan De Wilde) and producer (of artists like Bruno Deneckere, Les Nomades ..) called H.T.Roberts.
The excellence is not in the sound, in fact this was recorded mostly around a kitchen table, nor in a special musical virtuosity or interesting message. No, what make this disc grow (if you give it a bit of your time) into a pearl is the simplicity, directness and poetical drive. This is country music (à la Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue"), these are waltzes (à la Elliott Smith), this is acoustic guitar folk (à la Dylan, G.W. McLennan) and here or there a Celtic reel (à la Perry Rose). These are songs about dreams (Went down to the seashore), about a dead cat (King of the Rooftops), about life in a big city (Restless City). There are no new chords invented on it, but those that existed already are being put in a wonderful order in songs like "Closer to heaven" (with Mich van Hautem at the backings), "King of the rooftops", "Rose of Sharon" (dedicated to writer John Steinbeck), "Shadowland" or "Steamfoot's Parade" (with Bart Maris on tuba). Just imagine "Nookie" or other "Guano Apes", and then the absolute contrary of that, and you'll end up close. This cd is - for me at least - a resting point, a relief.
Probably this is a project too modest, to shy to entertain a big audience, but I get the feel that even a small audience is big enough for H.T.Roberts. What do you think, aren't there already too many deejay's ?

Sent-in opinions :

- Timothy wrote : "Ironic that the great American Gothic recording of the decade should be written by a Belgian. A strange but beautiful collecion of stark songwriting, in the tradition of Townes van Zandt Our Mother the Mountain, Cowboy Junkies' Trinity Sessions, and Nick Cave's The Boatman's Call."

And your opinion?
Did I get it all wrong, or was I spot-on ? Do you want to share your opinion about this cd ? Send it in, and I'll put it up here !

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This album in the press:

MN in Roots Town Music : "This is further proof of the fact that there's a whole bunch of songwriters and musicians in Belgium who aren't the lesser in a comparison with their foreign, in this case American, colleagues. ... What makes H.T. this grand, is his ability to paint. He knows how to make a very rich sound, with only a minimum of instruments. There is a vast array of acoustic instrumentens being used, but always with the motto "less is more" they are used sparingly. Like a flower that blooms, this cd reveals it's secrets gently and sweetly".

Did you see a good (or bad) review of this album ? Tell me about it !

More about this group :

- contact & bookings : Luc Bonne, Tervenenwegel 23, 9940 Ertvelde (tel : +32.9.344.88.73)
- Deep Blue Something : Romeinse steenweg 372, 1853 Strombeek-Bever.
Tel 02/269.82.32 fax: 02/267.75.34.
- Distribution : Via Records.

Where to buy this CD ?

You can order this CD from a number of locations (prices researched on August 30th, 1999, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).

Price of the CD
Shipping + other expenses
Direct Link
780 Bef
727 Bef
733 Bef

The lowest price is in yellow, the highest in red. This price comparison doesn't take things into account like deduction of shipping expenses when ordering more than 1 cd, bonus points, differences in guarantees ... Shipping prices are those for customers in Belgium.

Have you seen this record elsewhere on the net, do you own an online-CD-shop with Belgian products in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations : let me know.

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