Ronnie Dark is of a different era, and I mean that in the best possible way. He is true keeper of the rock ‘n’ flame at a time when we need that flame kept, at a time when it needs tending now more than ever as the Lefsetz’s of the world try to tell you that rock n roll is dying.
Don’t you believe it. Ronnie doesn’t believe it for a minute.
In this era where it seems the shelf life of a rock ‘n’ roll song is for a long as the next suggested stream. A suggestion based on some calculated metric, an algorithm. No algorithm, no computer can ever touch that heart of yours, even if it is secured directly to your sleeve.
Isn’t the way music touches your heart like few other things the reason why we love music in the first place?
Music is supposed to mean more than streams out in the ether someplace. It’s not disposable. The songs I loved as a kid, still touch my heart today.
Ronnie Dark knows that and his new album “Sky” shows it.
If you know anything about Ronnie, you know he loves all things rock ‘n” roll, deeply, and honors all those that play it, all you have to do is listen to his radio show “The Wax Museum with Ronnie Dark” on Sunday nights at 7 on WVOA in Syracuse. A show that features songs that cross all genre, eras, and categories. It’s all about the song for Ronnie and his intrepid gang of cohorts on Sunday night.
His new album comes from the same genuine and heart filled place as you would expect. Ronnie couldn’t be aloof if he tried.
“Sky” is the kind of album that would sound perfect on a warm and breezy summer night, in a convertible, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge into the Marin headlands with the top down.
Like you would expect Ronnie to do, the nine songs give nods to several musical styles and show multiple influences, but at it’s core, this is a top notch pop rock album.
Opener “Whatever Happened to My Blue Sky”, accented with a lovely acoustic rhythm guitar and a soaring electric solo is a lovelorn end of summer song reminiscent of Brian Wilson at his most introspective.
“She Was Terror (She Was Mine)” is a straight up rocking, don’t let the door hit you on the ass, song about a relationship gone bad. Real bad.
For my pop rocking heart, the highlight is “Love Will Break Your Heart”, an up-tempo, radio friendly bit of hooks and optimism that will start your toes tapping and head bopping.
Ronnie’s voice sounds a little bit like Rik Emmett at times. The playing is all first rate and the songs are all as catchy as hell, even ballads like “Gone” are catchy.
For those of us that remember what rock ‘n’ roll sounded like in the 70’s and 80’s, we have found a home in “Sky”. It pays homage to that era of music without being a throwback, nostalgia piece. The thing about Ronnie is, the reveres rock ‘n’ roll. He takes it seriously, and treats the music with the respect and authenticity it deservers, much like a jazz player who carries the art form into the new era. Sky is an album that plays in the current moment, but with a respectful nod to those that came before. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Sky is available on CD, vinyl and digital download from all the usual sources.
Prolific I am not. But you could sign up to get an e-mail when I let it fly. No spam, no sale…I’m not selling anything. It’s just between you and I.