R.X. Bertoldi (from the album Strong Roots and Readings)
R.X. Bertoldi learned many years ago how to express his feelings in a song. The lessons came at a young age and followed a path fairly familiar to musicians. R.X. found music he liked, figured out a way to copy what he heard, and then used his guitar to write some songs of his own. Strong Roots and Readings, the recent release from R.X. Bertoldi, goes back to the singer/songwriter’s formative days, tributing artists that inspired his younger self, and re-working the tracks as a thank you to musician mentors. Many of the cuts on Strong Roots and Readings are familiar with R.X. Bertoldi keeping the memories on course with honest audio reenactments of the melodies, offering tunes such “Ooh La La” (The Faces) and “Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) true to origins while he delivers J.J Cale’s “After Midnight” with its Tulsa groove giving a foundation to a fresh take on the track.
Bob Dylan has a firm hold on Strong Roots and Readings with his name attached to three cuts on the album. R.X. Bertoldi unearths an outtake from Dylan’s Infidels release with “Lord Protect My Child” and borrows a track Bob Dylan wrote for Eric Clapton with “If I Don’t Be There by Morning”. The album revisits a forgotten chorus from Bob Dylan that became the cornerstone for a career when Ketch Secor added verses in “Wagon Wheel”, the tune becoming a signature song for Ketch’s band, Old Crow Medicine Show. Tom Waits gets double tracking on Strong Roots and Readings as R.X. Bertoldi climbs into “Ol’ 55” and cruises down “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night”. While the songs are familiar enough to be included as the fabric for many lives already, R.X. Bertoldi breathes new life in the tracks with a vocal warmth and a blast of energy as he covers Randy Newman (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”), John Hiatt (“Slow Turning”), and doubles down on The Rolling Stones, giving an Americana makeover to “Beast of Burden” and “Get Off of My Cloud”.
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