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Rocky Roberts & Friends - Pieces of Time (Wolfe Island Records)

13 May 2023

Rocky Roberts is a singer/songwriter based out of Massachusetts, and on his new EP Pieces of Time he’s enlisted the help of some of the A-list musical friends he’s gotten to know over the years. Roberts was previously a guitar technician for everyone including Neil Young, Wilco, Patti Smith, and Paul Simon so it’s no surprise the proceedings over the course of the EP are extremely classy and top shelf. Now retired, he’s shifted the focus back onto his own music, and these four songs show a gifted musician in his own right emerge from the wings and take center stage.

The lead-off single “Buck Moon” is a wonderfully casual, country gospel tinged duet with the incomparable Norah Jones. Their voices combine perfectly as neither seems in any hurry to show off or upstage the other. In fact, there’s no rush about anything here, and the EP sounds like an informal, impromptu gathering amongst friends just for the fun of playing together. The final track “Tomales Bay” also features some fantastic, understated acoustic lead guitar by Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody fame. Without being flashy whatsoever, Rocky Roberts stands out as an important voice in classic country, and Pieces of Time has a beautifully timeless feeling.