- Bryon Harris
R.W. Roldan - 'The Color Of'
Review by Daniel Hout & Staff
'The Color Of' by R.W. Roldan is featured on BWH Music Group’s new release, ‘On Peace Street, Vol. One.’ The compilation album is a collection of 19 original songs in various genres by today's best independent artists and songwriters. Sharing songs about peace and social justice, the artist's songs will ultimately remind you of the importance of peace, fairness, love and unity. Filled with meaningful lyrics and exceptional music, this playlist is an example of how music can influence, and even change, people, movements, and society.
Alt-Country is an extremely popular genre in this day and age. “The Color Of” really paints a picture of what this genre has to offer. The simple acoustic opening has the Johnny Cash feel to it by using leading tones on the lower strings. It’s precise and on point with its execution. As the song continues, a new gem is added to enhance the sound. A fiddle can be heard coming through, and the chorus has an abundance of harmonies that is reminiscent of a small choir. The basic beat is also something to note. It’s not uncommon to use hand claps and a kick in this kind of music; however, the way that it’s built is genius. The second verse provides the listener with a fuller percussion sound by adding tambourine, and a keen ear can also hear the undertones of a full drum kit coming in, which takes full effect once the second chorus begins. R.W. Roldan's arrangement is first-rate.
Lyrically, “The Color Of” dives into an issue that has plagued this country since we were colonies. Racism. It’s not an uncommon theme to explore, and it’s an epidemic that has heavily been in discussion for decades. The chorus begs the question, “What Makes the Color of a Man’s Skin a Capital Crime?” A line that really stands out is, “The Ones Whom God Loves are the Ones Who Look Just Like Him” highlighting the hypocrisy of religion and racism. The song pulls the listener in by discussing racism and addressing this issue through a story. The verses are a series of short stories that show the listener examples of racism, rather than just telling them that it’s bad. It’s an engaging method of songwriting and it’s done beautifully in this piece.This is great Americana writing. In addition, R.W. Roldan delivers vocally with a voice that's raw and real.
“The Color Of” is a song with a real message. It speaks to the masses and addresses some key issues by engaging the listener and storytelling. The piece really paints a full picture of what Alt-Country/Americana offers to the world, and it exemplifies the talents of RW Roland and his band.
R.W. (Ray William) Roldan grew up listening to Elvis, Hank Williams, Rick Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones and has fond memories of his grandfather, a drummer, telling him stories and playing Jim Croce and James Taylor for him.
R.W. had been recording under various band monikers since emerging with his debut album In California Country in 2006. After years of leading the popular ensembles Swing Samurai and Broke Fence (and recording under those names), Roldan, has just released Can You Feel This. Teaming with engineer/producer Max Allyn of The Outpost, the13 soulful tracks provide a deeply emotional experience.
Roldan has recorded with famed musicians like Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), John J.T. Thomas (Bruce Hornsby), Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Rosie Perez), Bruce Watson (Rod Stewart), Chuck Kavoorus, and Brad Cobb (Tori Amos), David Chamberlain (Roy Buchanan, Manhattan Transfer). Ray's band also includes Mark Hayes (lead guitar) and Luke Hayes (drums).
Roldan's two Swing Samurai albums have received extensive airplay throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia, and songs from those were featured on compilations with greats like Tim McGraw, Billy Yates and The Bellamy Brothers. In addition, Roldan’s tunes have been top finalists in numerous Song of the Year competitions and in 2007, he won “Top 25 songs CD” for IndieMusiccom. The following year, he scored eleven finalist nominations for “Man of Steel” through the FameGame Effigy Awards.
For more information, please Visit R.W. Roldan's website.
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