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Daniel Romano

Mosey – 2016 (New West)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Daniel Romano

With "Mosey," Ontario-based singer/songwriter Daniel Romano reveals himself to be something of a musical chameleon. Even Romano's appearance has transformed from the rhinestone suit and cowboy hat of 2013's "Come Cry With Me" to a hipster Bob Dylan/Art Garfunkel look on the cover of this release. On previous efforts, Romano displayed his reverence and aptitude for traditional country. Here the retro '60s sound is based primarily in the country/pop of Lee Hazlewood with a touch of psychedelic rock in the mix.

Hazlewood's influence is strong throughout with Romano channeling his monotone delivery on such tunes as "Mr. E. Me" and "Sorrow (For Leonard and William)." One of the stronger tracks is the moody "Hunger is a Dream You Die In" ("I've been hungry all my life/And nothing feeds my appetite"), which begins as country/pop before transitioning to Beatlesque looping of guitars reminiscent of "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "Revolution 9." Actress Rachel McAdams makes a cameo in "Toulouse," a comical exercise that is not so much about the artist Toulouse-Lautrec as it is a vehicle for wordplay on the name ("'Cause i never had somethin' that was ever worth nothin'/Now I've sure got a lot toulouse" and "And i'm a gonna grab you tight/And never hold you too loose").

Another apparent influence is Bob Dylan with the bluesy "I Had to Hide Your Poem in a Song" and "(Gone Is) All But a Quarry of Stone," recalling some of Dylan's work with The Band, while the piano driven "One Hundred Regrets Avenue" has traces of not only Dylan, but Harry Nilsson. The lone cover is an effective rendition of Sonny Curtis' haunting "The Collector" with an arrangement similar to the Everly Brothers' 1966 version.

After having established his country credentials with his past work, Daniel Romano creates an equally authentic brand of country/pop psychedelia with this release.