Bud Rokesky, Outsider Review
by John Gaddis
Bud Rokesky is a singer/songwriter releasing his album, Outsider. The songs on the album explore how people have different takes on the same situation. Rokesky is used to isolation, being born in Brisbane, and from the ages of eight to 17, he lived on a 170-acre property. He pours his perspective from a lifetime of observing others into his songwriting. Rokesky explains, “Being an outsider meant I had a lot of free time growing up to question what everyone was doing or why everyone was doing what they were doing.” He explains. “The fact that we have questions and troubles is beautiful because we’re all here experiencing them.”
Rokesky’s songs show he is a storyteller, as with “Floodlights.” The lyrics tell of situations that can be interpreted in many ways and seek to explore how different people have different takes on the same problem. The moaning pedal steel is fitting to accompany the acoustic guitar and Rokesky’s warm voice. Rokesky explains. “When people listen to the record, I’d love for them to hear the beauty in other characters’ troubles so that they can think of their own troubles or questions as beautiful. And the fact that we have questions and troubles is beautiful because we’re all here experiencing them.”
“Million Hearts” has an upbeat acoustic guitar part and vocal doubling and harmonies that present Rokesky’s storytelling lyrics. The instrumentation grows with each pass through the form, with harmonica and mandolin parts transitioning between sections. Rokesky’s charming voice is easy to listen to, and his subtle vibrato will lull you into appreciation.
Rokesky has a warm and resonant voice that sings stories of people and situations. Outsider shows his music embraces emotions; with varying orchestrations of different instrumentations and compelling harmonies, he will transform you into his world of reflection and observations.