Tim Rogers : Rogers Sings Rogerstein
That Tim Rogers is an artist in the tortured and talented sense of the term is as obvious as the mesmerising brilliance of the riffs in Cool Hand Luke, Sound As Ever and Purple Sneakers. All hyperbole aside, Rogers is both of Australia’s finest contemporary songwriters, and a troubled rock’n’roll soul in the true Townshend/Marriott/Gene Clark tradition.
Rogers’ latest musical outing sees him collaborating with the mysterious figure Shel Rogerstein, apparently a collaborator Rogers met on the road in the United States. The enigmatic and mysterious Rogerstein has managed to release the inner folk poet in Rogers, allowing the latter to explore aspects of his psychological and sociological existence hitherto reserved for introverted contemplation.
There’s deep, meaningful and orchestral introspection in All Or Nothing, heart-wrenching Beatles-esque self-reflection in Part Time Dads and wry nostalgia in The FJ Holden. On Walking Past The Bars Rogers is the hopeless romantic, seeing beauty in the most adolescent of human streetscapes; on I Love You Just As You Are, Now Change Rogers wrestles with identity against a funk-stained rock soundtrack that’s as powerful as the emotional tussles with which he’s faced. Didn’t Plan to Be Here Either, Baby is ruggedly unapologetic; Beefy Jock Guys and Modern Dance Music is vaudevillian social humour offered up in a waltzing package (and a special mention of the album’s best line “Do you remember when junkies looked like the J Geils Band?’).
Augmenting his lyrical expositions is Rogers’ eclectic musical sensibility, from slick '70s West Coast rock (Driving At Night), to T-Rex boogie (One O The Girls) to Nashville country-rock (Go On Out, Get Back Home) to bar room booze, broads and The Band (If Yer Askin’, I’m Dancin’). Shel Rogerstein might be a figment of someone’s imagination, but he’s still a powerful muse – and Tim Rogers is still a national legend.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Walking Past The Bars
If You Like These, You'll Like This: BOB DYLAN, THE BYRDS, PAUL AND MARY AND TIM ROGERS.
In A Word: Timmy