steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Brian Michael Roff

"In The Analog Woods" CD

KEEP Recordings

Genres: folk, acoustic, folk-rock

KEEP Recordings
PO Box 18972
Tucson AZ 85731

Jan 3 - 9 2005

KEEP's press sheet explains the rules Brian Michael Roff abided by for In The Analog Woods - only 4-track recording was to be employed, and banjo, guitar, accordion, and voice were the only instruments allowed.  This set-up worked perfectly for this six song EP, giving us twenty minutes of pure, folk bliss not far off from some Palace material.  The key to Roff's music is a distinct hopefulness that manifests itself both in the music's feel and the actual lyrics.  Opener "The Never-Ending Cause of Everything," for example, is a short and joyful song whose melody is complemented by some excellent guitar/banjo interplay.  Even the more solemn songs have a sense of hope in them - the delicate "Emergency" is personal and strangely optimistic, and "Rocks and Minerals" is desperate but still sweet and pretty.  Every once in awhile, you hear a hint of Elliot Smith or Nick Drake, but this is considerably more twangy, and far less depressed.  In The Analog Woods is another strong release for KEEP, and another excellent introduction to a relatively obscure musician.


Fun Fact: In addition to being a very beautiful, hand-made release, In The Analog Woods has been released in an artist-signed and hand-numbered edition of 100 - so act fast!

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]