The Rosewood Thieves EP, From The Decker House is a lesson in the music world's perfect synthesis; Bob Dylan meets John Lennon. Singer/Songwriter Erick Jordan writes music in the style of Dylan's country-blues numbers while singing like a young John Lennon. (Think "Twist and Shout" when Lennon's singing is so strained yet beautiful that it almost sounds like he's in pain.) Some of Jordan's vocals on From The Decker House are double tracked like Lennon and it would be impossible not to hear the "Benefit of Mr. Kite" meets Revolver in "Diamond Ring" or the country-tinged blues of Highway 61 in "Doctor." The part of Decker House that sets it apart from any other retro inspired album is that while you can hear all of Jordan's influences, it's rare that he passes the line of influence. He lets his heroes shine without ever ripping them off.
Yes, it's true. Tonic is going out of business. It's a shame. But last week I was lucky to see the band play one of the venue's final shows. The Rosewood Thieves played with little sonic tricks up their sleeves. Jordan plays an acoustic guitar accompanied by an electric piano, bass, electric guitar, and drums. They shuffled through many of the songs from Decker House and a few new ones sounding more and more confident as the night went by. The standout of the band is Jordan's voice. It sounds weathered while fresh and aged while young. It has enough rasp and boyish charm that it's undeniably the star of the band.
They played a song written by their substitute bass player and many of the blues tinged songs sounded like early Beatles numbers; Simple in melody and music, yet complex in emotion and delivery. The Rosewood Thieves were (unfortunately) the openers so the set was not the length that it should have been but they certainly made fans out of everyone in the room. They are that good.
Photos by Daniel Arnold