Rodney Rice “Rodney Rice”

Self Released, 2023

Different direction for Nashville musician and it’s a winner.

It’s always fascinating when artists choose to release eponymous albums – sometimes it’s their debut release, or it’s simply when the artists feels it’s the right time. It’s the latter choice for the third album for Rodney Rice – following his two previously well-received albums. This one is a more ambitious undertaking and has a more rounded and polished feel to it.

Rice recorded it at the famous Nashville studios – the Bomb Shelter – and it sounds as though these surroundings suited Rice perfectly. There are an astonishing twenty-one musicians and singers contributing here including Dave Racine on drums, Dennis Crouch and Jack Lawrence on bass, Jeff Taylor and Micah Hulscher on keys, Steve Daly and Sean Thompson on guitars, Kirk Donovan on trumpet, and Sam Hoffman, Maureen Murphy, Kyshona Armstrong, and Nickie Conley. Drew Carroll produced.

We get off to a suitably rumbunctious start with ‘How You Told Me So’ with some splendid barrel-house style piano, some rockabilly guitar and effective horns, in a song dealing with some important life lessons – it’s a classy opener. Next up is ‘Got To Where I’m Going’ – a guitar-driven road song with some no-nonsense lyrics. It’s about a futile relationship and has a great sing-along chorus.

Rice and his partner got married at a motel near Steamboat Springs, Colorado and when they left, his wife suggested he write a song about it – and ‘Rabbit Ears Motel’ is that country shuffle song. ‘Wonder Where I Came’ is a glorious foot stomper – with a life reflection theme and it’s wonderful.

There’s a John Prine feel to many of these songs, and humour and mischievousness is never far away, even if the themes covered can be serious. The album ends with ‘Every Passing Day’ which has a lovely chugging feel to it and effectively rounds off an album which sees Rice developing as a songwriter and performer and is worth tracking down.


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