MP3 The Resophonics - ROCK: 60's Rock
An eclectic collection showcasing the original spirit of folk and rock & roll music.
12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 60''s Rock, FOLK: Folk Blues
A bio of “The Resophonics” by Bobby Snappapazza
“Rock and roll,” answers Rob Campbell with a sip of whiskey from a crystal highball. I am sitting in the main recording room of a home studio belonging to Rob’s songwriting partner and fellow bandmate, Elliott James. Elliott sits next to Rob, staring into his own highball, and I perceive only the slightest nod of agreement from him.
The question I have just put to them is, “What style of music would you say The Resophonics play?” I ask this question because I have just listened through their new self-titled album, “The Resophonics,” and I don’t trust myself to label adequately the genre in which this band fits. Rob seems to have easily solved this problem for me. Too easily? This seems entirely possible. After all, the album kicks off with a couple numbers that I, an avid listener of all musics, would call folk rock. From here the band transitions––surprisingly smoothly, I should add––into a tune reminiscent of 1980s Tom Petty, before launching into an instrumental surf song and a blues number. Ukuleles, mandolins, banjos, and electric sitars make agreeable appearances. One song, “System,” ends with an impressively tumultuous clamor of no less than twelve voices, by themselves. The record is capped off by a raucous “Move Fast,” a driving rocker that conjures memories of… well, every rock and roll band of the sixties.
One can understand my line of questioning.
Elliott seems to recognize my perplexity and says, “Not rock. We don’t play rock. We play rock and roll.”
My ego demands that I nod as if I understand––Oh, I see what you’re getting at––but my duties, in this case, outweigh self-consciousness. I tell him I don’t know what he means.
“Rock,” he says, straightening in his chair, “is a modern invention of music. That term––‘rock’––it’s a very definable thing nowadays, and it’s a slim little genre. If you turn your guitar up a little more, you’re ‘hard rock,’ or ‘punk rock’.” If you turn that guitar down a bit, slow the tempo up a bit, you’re something more like ‘emo’ or you might even get tagged with something really abstract and stupid like ‘indie rock.’ If you play an acoustic instead, you’re ‘folk’.”
Elliott starts drinking, so Rob interjects. “There didn’t used to be all these different sub-genres. There used to be rock and roll, and it covered a lot of bases. That’s why guys like Eric Clapton and Neil Young have albums that are all acoustic, albums that are all loud and rocking, albums that are blues or surf music or Motown-ish. But it’s all still rock and roll, because that term ‘rock and roll’ can cover all those bases without the artist seeming scatterbrained.”
All this talk about the “old days” of music makes me wonder just how old these two are. Elliott is twenty-four, Rob is twenty-seven. Yet, through more musical discussion, I can see that these two are more knowledgeable on the music of the sixties and seventies than the average baby boomer.
Elliott picks up a cream-colored guitar and starts picking. He tells me this is a 1957 Fender Telecaster, all original. I don’t know exactly what that means. Apparently it means the guitar is near priceless. I begin to wonder why the guitar hasn’t been sold for the staggering sum it is worth, why Elliott is wearing a brown suede sport jacket, why Rob is wearing sunglasses, and why these two are drinking whiskey at noon.
When I inquire, Rob finishes his highball and answers, “Rock and roll.”