The world of Dead Rock West is a place where perfectly pitched harmonies tug at your heart strings and grainy guitar solos serenade your soul. Seamlessly merging together sounds of rock with dashes of garage, power-pop jangle and the weep of country, Dead Rock West transcend being labeled as one genre and instead, create a kaleidoscope
of sounds as bold and daring as they are soft and warm.
Just as the title of their debut CD Honey and Salt alludes to, Dead Rock West covers a wide perspective of human emotions on the album from love and loss to self-discovery and disillusionment, suggesting that life is sweet and bitter at the same time.
“We want to sing songs that are wrapped in the complexities of human emotion,” says lead guitarist and vocalist Frank Lee Drennen. “We would like to think that our songs will still be meaningful and appealing in 20 to 30 years.”
Honey and Salt was mixed during a six day period in Nashville, TN by Grammy-award winner Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Steve Earle, Traveling Wilburys etc.), with contributions from pedal steel player Greg Leisz and string masters, The Section Quartet. The album was recorded at Grandma’s Warehouse in Echo Park and pays tribute to older style recording methods by using a 2’’ tape, 24 tracks and machines making for a clean, tight sound.
Beyond the impressive harmonies and visceral melodies, the most beautiful thing about Honey and Salt is the lyrics, which are pure insights into the minds of Dead Rock West founders and lead vocalists Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennen. Highway One is a joyride through love and loss guided by Cindy’s heartwarming vocals and Frank’s pounding guitar. On the Outside’s rock melody is supported by Frank’s plea in trying to find who we really are, inside and out as a continuous philosophical dilemma. The ending track, All I Know, is a slow country waltz searching for the future by first visiting the past. Cindy has always believed that when she sings she is guided by angels. All I Know reveals Cindy’s spiritual voice closing the album with the thought-provoking phrase, “All I know is all that’s gone … all I know.”
Honey and Salt is a gritty passage through the plush valleys and desert landscapes of human emotion, constantly urging listeners to take the journey. And you should too!
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