‘Rock River’ from Deena Shoshkes “…magnetism that never wavers.”(May 27, 2014)
“We’re going to generate some criticism from the folk purists with this one … then again, what the hell.” That’s how we began the conversation about this review. Yet it only took a few minutes listening before everyone was hooked. ‘Rock River’ from Deena Shoshkes may owe more to an amalgam of rock and alt-country than to folk, then again there’s so much strength of songwriting, lyric and musicianship in the mix that however you choose to classify - it’s just damn sexy, sultry music. And that can’t be bad.
The most obvious and perhaps the overall abiding impression is absorbing the seductive pull of Deena’s voice, delivering songs that slide artfully around your ears to wholly seize your attention. Through these vocals you can hear the roots of tradition making their mark through delicious hooks and penetrating melodies. At the outset, the rocky mood of ‘My Own Advice’ entices, before the fever of ‘Find The Love’ reaches you and by the time ‘Comes With Kisses’ envelopes, you’re gone. The easiest way to deal with ‘Rock River’ is go with the flow and realise you’re under its spell. Without question, Deena writes supremely tantalising songs, from the rockier cut of ‘All She Wrote’ through the drowsy appeal of ‘I Will Never Be Your Valentine’ and the soft ballad ‘We’ll Take It From Here’ to the evocative rush of‘Heart Full Of Now’ the magnetism never wavers.
There really should be a cautionary alert on the sleeve notes: “Beware, listen to ‘Rock River’ from seductress Deena and its siren-song will draw you into its embrace.”As we already belong to the ranks of those fallen into its grip we would simply ignore the warning.
Reviewers: Tom Franks and Tim Carroll