by Roddy HartRoddy Hart


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Scottish singer/songwriter Roddy Hart might only be in his mid-twenties, but he reveals himself to be something of an old soul on his debut disc. In the opening tune, "The Life and Times of Joseph Rowe," he offers a moving portrait of an old man looking back at his life and observing: "As the years went rushing past/I let some things slip from my grasp/Too proud to let the moments last." While his lyrics display an impressive perspective for a twenty-something songwriter, it's the lovely melody that sweeps up the listener. By the second track, the twangy pop gem "She Is All I Need," Hart invites comparisons to the critically acclaimed tunesmith Ron Sexsmith through his skilled songcraft as well as his gentle, slightly trembly vocal style. Throughout the disc, he exhibits a mature musical sense without coming across as overly precocious. He combines a bit of young Dylan with a Costello croon to convey a sense of melancholic regret on "My Greatest Success" while the romantic tale "One Thousand Lives" suggests a stripped down "For You" with a touch of Jeff Buckley. These nods to his influences, typical of a young performer, don't diminish Hart's accomplishments here. Another attractive feature is the disc's rich but not overly fussy arrangements created by Hart, who plays a variety of guitars and keyboards, and his co-producer, veteran Scottish rocker Paul McGeechan. All of their elements coalesce wonderfully on "Flames," a glorious up-tempo love story about "young Jack and sweet Marie" built around a catchy little guitar lick, a wash of Hammond organ and some lush backing vocals. It's the type of tune that Van Morrison might have done back in his "Brown-Eyed Girl" days. This disc, however, is not a flawless effort. The middle section bogs down slightly with one too many piano ballads but the songs never succumb to becoming bland and glossy. The album wraps up strongly with the spare, wistful "Journey's End," another tune that demonstrates Hart's wiser-than-his years skills. The highly memorable Bookmarks marks an impressive debut from Hart, and sets the bar high for his future efforts.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/13/2007
Label: Compass Records
UPC: 0766397444024
catalogNumber: 4440
Rank: 152970

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roddy Hart   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Harmonica,Mandolin,Piano,Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Mellotron,Classical Guitar,Wurlitzer
Kris Kristofferson   Background Vocals
Eddi Reader   Background Vocals
Paul McGeechan   Piano
Paul Livingston   Electric Guitar,E-bow
Frank Reader   Background Vocals
Stephen Douglas   Drums
John David Martin   Electric Guitar
Geoff Martyn   Piano,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals
Michael McDaid   Bass
Niall Holmes   Background Vocals
John Martin.   Electric Guitar
Marco Rea   Background Vocals
Yorick Cormack   Background Vocals
Seamus Simon   Drums

Technical Credits

Chris Gordon   Engineer
Paul McGeechan   Producer,Audio Production
Ian Graham   Engineer
Mark Wilson   Management
Roddy Hart   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production

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