Bullz-Eye.com – July 2005

- by Red Rocker

Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since a vastly recognizable artist broke out of the Cleveland, OH music scene. Bouncing between new artist showcases and cultivating a grassroots following from Baltimore to New Orleans, singer/songwriter Joe Rohan unveils 11 new songs on These Days. He's got plenty of wood to chop, mind you, as his catalog is not yet available on the Amazon.coms of the world. But with his rich, abundant vocals and penchant for all things blues, country, and folk, Rohan displays a level of comprehension and substance that so many before him have not.

Relaxing, back porch melodies like "Blown Away" and "Angeline" merge guitar measurements of slide and twang with immensely narrative vocals. Somewhere between Rob Thomas and Lyle Lovett, Rohan's croon is perfectly suited for these soulful compositions. Quieter acoustic flashes like "James Dean" demonstrate his ability to carry a song with voice alone. It would seem the jumpy, Counting Crows-like "Desert Love" or equally catchy title track might be Rohan's most legitimate shot at breaking through commercially. Even the lackluster "Lovestruck Romeo" and ballsy run at Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire" (the later recalling Cheap Trick's ill-advised remake of "Don't Be Cruel") do little to derail his overall project.

Although Rohan has shared stages with big boys James Taylor and Dave Matthews, the general lack of singer/songwriter exposure along FM radio waves will make it increasingly difficult for a guy like this to sell his wares in larger markets. What a shame. His knack for spilling stories about relationships and life episodes serves as a beautiful companion to most of these bluesy, string-heavy tunes. More surprising still was learning of Rohan's prior gig as the drummer of a local band in Cleveland. Can you say Dave Grohl?

~Red Rocker redrocker@bullz-eye.com

Joe Rohan web site - copyright 2003 Off the Map Music. Site Credits: Creationsite
Joe Rohan is a singer, songwriter and independent recording artist living in Cleveland, Ohio