Rodney DeCroo | War Torn Man

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Country: Country Rock Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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War Torn Man

by Rodney DeCroo

"Readily compared to Steve Earle, Neil Young, Dylan, John Prine and Gram Parson there are shades of them all here. His rootsy sound gets better with every listen- a story teller par excellence."- Americana UK -Americana UK
Genre: Country: Country Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bring It On
3:57 $0.99
2. Mississippi
6:39 $0.99
3. Rain Rain
3:36 $0.99
4. When I Was A Boy
3:13 $0.99
5. Standing In The Doorway
5:55 $0.99
6. Leechburg
5:14 $0.99
7. Sheltering Sky
4:34 $0.99
8. Whiskey
6:01 $0.99
9. Black Smoke
5:50 $0.99
10. Peruvian Waltz
4:50 $0.99
11. Wide Open Heart
5:18 $0.99
12. Blue Rooms
5:00 $0.99
13. War Torn Man
5:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Rodney DeCroo hails from working man's country, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (picture The Deerhunter). After living in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, Beaufort, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida, the DeCroo's headed for the Canadian wilderness after Rodney's father, a US Marine, decided not to re-up for a second tour of duty in Vietnam.

Because of his father's desire to live away from society, Rodney spent several years of his childhood living in the bush of northern British Columbia while his father worked as a trapper and hunting guide. The war had deeply traumatized his father which had a negative impact on the family, so Rodney's mother took him and his two brothers back to Pennsylvania where she raised them on her own.

Back in Pennsylvania Rodney rebelled against his mother's return to the family's Southern Baptist beliefs and became a juvenile delinquent. He was removed from several schools and was sent away due to his proclivity for stealing cars, break and enters, fighting, defiance toward all forms of authority, and early signs of alcoholism. Shortly after returning to live with his mother he was removed from yet another school and ran away. After a brief stint on the streets and more run-ins with the police he was sent to live with his father in Canada.

The sixteen year old Rodney's self-destructive tendencies ran wild after re-uniting with his father. The next few years were an alcohol and drug induced haze of small northern towns, cheap hotels, brawls, and assorted depravities. Eventually Rodney and his father parted ways and he was left to fend for himself. After ten years of similar behavior, dead end jobs, alcoholism, and a few convictions Rodney got sober in his late twenties. After staying sober a couple years he went to college, worked as an actor, a journalist, a stock promoter, and got married.

In his early thirties his wife left and he lost his job. While staying with some friends he started playing a beat-up guitar a previous roommate had left behind. He used that guitar to start writing songs. Within two years he was performing those songs in bars around Vancouver where he met Richard Chapmen of Northern Electric Records who helped him to assemble an all-star band of Canadian roots musicians and put out his first record. Since then he has put out three cds, toured extensively throughout North America playing clubs, theatres, and festivals, collaborated with some of the best Canadian roots musicians/ singer-songwriters, and has received critical acclaim in Canada, the US, and Europe.

Rodney is also a poet. His poetry has been published in several Canadian literary magazines. His first book of poems - Shining Like An Apple On Fire- was published by Burning Cradle Press. He second book is due to be published in 2009.

Review Quotes for War Torn Man:

"Every now and again an album comes along that right from the opening bars you just know it’s gonna be on the nail. This is such an album. Before this cd landed on my desk I’d never heard of Rodney DeCroo. Now I can’t get enough of him.
Readily compared to Steve Earle, Neil Young, Dylan, John Prine and Gram Parson there are shades of them all here. A composite if you like. His rootsy sound gets better with every listen. A story teller par excellence."
- Americana UK

"This album knocked me out within 30 seconds of hitting 'play' and has continued to relentlessly beat the shit out of me. Not that I'd expect DeCroo to show me any mercy. He's a tough-as-nails, bearded bastard who recalls Dylan circa his Rolling Thunder Revue days. War Torn Man finds him in his live element, live onstage, encouraging those in attendance to eat out of his hand but slapping them in the face when they get close. DeCroo's blue-collar work ethic inhabits every tune, and even the homey bass lines from former Spirit of the West member Linda McRae can't put a spit shine on DeCroo's rough edges and two-packs-a-day voice. The chemistry between DeCroo and guitarist Jon Wood suggests they may have been separated at birth, and it's this gritty cohesiveness and Wood's excellent fretwork that take this album from very good to fantastic."
-Brent Raynor, Now Magazine (Toronto)

"The high, ripped-lung voice of Rodney DeCroo takes only a few seconds to get used to, and the Vancouver-by-Pennsylvania singer-songwriter has a history, with things on his mind. On a live recording from Edmonton's Sidetrack club, the Dylan-goes-grunge thing is pretty cool, with a coppery electric guitarist Jon Wood who's a star too. The sad Standing in the Doorway should be a country classic. Gritty passion abounds, but then comes the last-track title song, where a Vietnam vet's son sings starkly about a father with a bombed-out heart. Suddenly the rest of the album seems awfully puny in comparison. That says plenty, mister -- and don't you dare ask for an encore. The show is done, and well done."
-Globe & Mail (National)

"It’s highly recommended that you make the trek down to see him debut the songs from War Torn Man, which we can add to the exalted ranks of kick ass live albums–from Cheap Trick’s Live at Budokan to The Who’s Live at Leeds."
- See Magazine (Edmonton)

"Lots of guys can sing like Bob Dylan
Hardly any write songs that are thrillinz
But DeCroo's words ring true
He rocks like Neil, too
On this live set, he's ready and willing."
-Winnipeg Sun

"Rodney DeCroo’s gift to the listener with this live album is two-fold. Firstly, he saves us the trouble of going to Edmonton, where War Torn Man was recorded. More significantly, the record documents an all-star band with a fully stretched set of road legs. There are more than a few casual miracles of musicianship scattered across its 13 original tracks, like the covert way bassist Linda McRae establishes the melodic backbone of “Mississippi”.

The finesse is such that you wouldn’t notice unless some jackass whistle blower mentions it in a review.

Or there’s drummer Ed Goodine’s sleight of hand in “Sheltering Sky”, where he brings the band to heel for an anti-chorus that sounds as if it’s backing out of the song. The MVP might be guitarist Jon Wood, however. In the fabulously angry “Leechburg”, he tosses off a couple of stammering and inarticulate solos that draw directly from the track’s animus.

As for DeCroo himself, he’s inevitably compared to manful icons like Kris Kristofferson and Steve Earle, which is fair enough; he’s at his best in wide-screen midtempo rockers like “Standing in the Doorway”, which are defined by the tension between a big heart and emotional reticence. The payoff is in such lovely and mysterious images as “the highway that runs through your hands and your hair”, from “Peruvian Waltz”, or the adventurous chord changes of “Black Smoke."
- Adrian Mack, The Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

"There isn’t a note or a line on the CD that doesn’t sound like it’s coming from the heart. You can tell Rodney DeCroo loves to do what he does. He is known for his extensive touring schedule, and having DeCroo release his album live captures him in his natural element of performing in front of his many fans."
-Scene and Heard (Toronto)

"DeCroo channels mid-to-late ‘70s Dylan so perfectly you sometimes wonder if you’re listening to Street Legal outtakes. He’s got the nasty tongue, the nicotine-sharpened wheezing bellow that sounds like a man on the verge of expiration, the tendency to mythologize himself. Good thing he’s got the tunes to support such a conceit ("Bring It On" is like a knife left in a wound), and the smarts to surround himself with excellent musicians."
-See Magazine (Edmonton)

"Recorded live at Edmonton's Sidetrack Cafe, War Torn Man is Rodney DeCroo's tribute to his Father... a man destroyed by his service in the Vietnam War. Considering that there is another generation of walking time bombs being created as we speak, Rodney's album has a resonance today that is both sad and chilling. In the hallowed murder ballad / protest song tradition of such Folk / Country icons as Phil Ochs, Steve Earle and Nick Cave, War Torn Man goes to some dark places... places where, even if you can shine a light, you might not be happy about what you see."
-Red Cat News (Vancouver)

"The life-torn man with the well-worn voice comes up with a live CD recorded at Edmonton’s Side Track Café for this, his second album entitled War Torn Man. It is a strangely intense recording, for listening to Decroo and his band knit together this performance one note at a time has the same tense, riveting feel as watching a drunkard stagger upon a tightrope where a net is a wish best saved for another day. They sound like a do-or-die band, and fortunately, they do."
-Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary)

"Rodney Decroo’s newest release, War Torn Man, marks a search for the artist’s freedom from his past. The poet/musician dedicates the album to his father, a Vietnam veteran. Decroo anchors his music in his poetry, such that where the poetry ends and the music begins is impossible to discern. Pieces such as "Rain Rain" show us the man’s thoughts between the drops, searching for an escape from his reality, in a kind of Bachian fugue. "War Torn Man" represents the psychology of a permanent impact, a footprint in a man’s history. Decroo incites his listeners to think as though music were a higher expression of philosophy."
-Jobani Tejeda, The Fulcrum (Ottawa)

"Rodney DeCroo's new live album (recorded at Edmonton's legendary Sidetrack Cafe) is dedicated to his Dad, a Vietnam veteran, a Father who was never the same after his tour of duty. It is especially apropos these days as it seems as though America is in the process of creating another generation of "war torn men." If Stephen Harper has his way, Canada might be about to do so too. Rodney comes from the Folk/Country school of music, and his songs here are very beautiful, but they are not "pretty" or "nice." They speak of dark pasts and horrible deeds. But as a eulogy to a life damaged beyond recognition, it has a realism and poignancy that speak of an understanding of the way life is, rather than the way it should be."
-The Tyee (Vancouver)

"Rodney DeCroo is a hidden Canadian music treasure, but look for the genie to escape the bottle with his new release War Torn Man."
- Wilfred Langmaid, The Gleaner (Fredricton)



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