Rocky Votolato: True Devotion

RIYL: Steve Earle, Rogue Wave, Damien Rice

When you’re at the bottom of a well, looking up, your surroundings are likely to be cold, damp, dreary and bleak. As Seattle-based singer/songwriter Rocky Votolato battled his own demons, namely depression and near suicide, that’s probably how things felt to him at the time. But in pulling himself from that proverbial well, he found writing songs to be therapeutic, and in the process he’s delivered to us some of his finest material yet. True Devotion is trademark Votolato vocally and melodically, but this effort is a more stripped-down record, almost solely acoustic. It’s a set of songs that have Votolato brimming with hope while at the same time dealing with his issues head on – and the best part is that he has a way of using his quirky melodies and chord structures to create a mood that reflects both his lyrics and his rainy day Seattle surroundings. He also has the vocal tone to stand up to an acoustic album. Rocky is good at belting it out and rocking a bit as he does on “Red River,” but he really shines on the simply arranged, darker material, the best of which are “Lucky Clover Coin” and “What Waited for Me.” (Barsuk 2010)

Rocky Votolato MySpace Page