This album begins with a very mellow tune called "Gift." It is nearly impossible not to be reminded of Jeff Buckley when I listen to this song. It is a simple tune, with a rich sound and thought-provoking lyrics. A lot like Jeff Buckley did. DeLuca's vocals are pretty similar to Buckley's as well.
In the liner notes is a mention of Rocco's "discovery" of the Dobro® and the consequent influence of southern folk music into Rocco's own. It doesn't take long to realize these southern influences in DeLuca's music. "Dope" and "Colorful," the second and third songs are excellent examples of how DeLuca incorporates these influences. The guitar in these two songs definitely comes from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.
"Swing Low" is a gritty tune steeped in the blues. Not so much Delta or Chicago blues, DeLuca puts a twist on it so it seems more like Jon Spencer or G Love.
"How Fast" is probably my favorite song on the disc. This is a rockin tune that will remind you of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. It's a little too short for my taste. Just when you get your groove going, the song is over. I wouldn't mind a couple more songs like this one on the disc, especially in place of "Bus Ride" and "Speak to Me." Don't get me wrong. Those aren't bad songs. They just seem like they would fit really well on a WB drama.
DeLuca is clearly a very talented songwriter with a broad range of influences and a good deal of range, with songs ranging from blues to rock to folk. His voice is equal parts Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke. His songs are rich, well-crafted and really enjoyable. If you are a fan of Rocco DeLuca & The Burden, hopefully you were able to check them out on Carson Daly's show on 26 May. I'm sure it won't be the last time you hear of him.