‘Dance If You Can’ from Roland Digh - genial, tender yet thought provoking(January 14, 2014)
Roland Digh describes himself as ‘a scribe of melodie & rhyme’ and I’d say that’s a pretty fair summary. His latest album (and the first one of his that I’ve heard) ‘Dance If You Can’ is a genial, tender yet thought provoking assortment of folk, country and rocky blues. If you want to classify it, then file under laid-back Canadiana, better yet just sit back and enjoy the mix.
The album has high spots and low, no that doesn’t mean quality wavers, it means there are songs of light and hope and others of shadow and despair. The mix may sometimes disquiet and at others inspire with lyrics and melodies that engage and hold your attention. Listen to the gentle inspirational muse of ‘Apple Blossom Highway’ or the essential truth over a pulsing bass line of ‘Sometimes’ to find your way into this music. The lyrics can catch you with their perception ‘Sadness’ hits hard, ‘Ballad of Nancy Rose’ holds a narrative that tells a deeply moving human tale, while the funky guitar riffs of ‘Somebody Told Me’ simply inspire movement. This is an album replete with musical twists and turns that take their time to pull together but when they do it’s a collection that works.
For me, the eponymous ‘Dance If You Can’ holds the key to this album – at the same it’s time stunning, forlorn, hopeful and sorrowful – a song that touches your heart and what more could you ask an artist to do for you?
Reviewer: Dan Holland