Rob McHale (from the album Prophets on the Boulevard)
Like the country that is the backdrop for Prophets on the Boulevard, Rob McHale colonizes the territory of the album with multiple topics and varied Roots that all find common ground on the release. The theme of a united world walks proudly into Prophets on the Boulevard as the album begins its journey by taking a stroll through Boston Commons, gaining strength of purpose with the levelling of the barriers between diverse cultures. Social commentary strides with the same determination into the songs, Rob McHale spending time discussing the ways of humans through his observations on their love and lives, their history and their environment. A slow-moving rhythm revolves around “Mother Earth”, Rob McHale stands in “Woody’s Shoes” to relive the goals of a young man sitting intently listening to Woody Guthrie on the radio, and takes a stand on “Blair Mountain” beside coal miners striking for a better way of life.
Moods swing like a pendulum on Prophets on the Boulevard, guided and captained by the calm assurance in the voice of Rob McHale. Tenderness speaks the words as sadness pulls the strings on “Keep Me Warm” while the light of “One Star” is found in a single smile as two heartbeats find their steps in time for “When the Sun Shines In” and a bluesy breeze ruffles the feathers of “Little Red Rooster”. Recorded in his home state of North Carolina, Rob McHale recorded Prophets on the Boulevard in the mountains, digging deep into musical Roots for the cultivated Folk and Bluegrass buried in the fertile ground. Street corner preaching begins the story of the title track as “Prophets on the Boulevard” turns a 360 degree circle to view the faces surrounding us all while Rob McHale sings of finding hope in the memory of loss with “Old Man on the Road” and watches red fill the water with blood for “Deep in the River”, tracing the legacy of John Brown as it continues to bleed into modern times.
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