HGR CD Review: Rodger Delany

RODGER DELANY – MOMENT OF TRUTH (no label) Simplicity can often be the best approach. On Moment of Truth, the first full-length solo CD by Philadelphia/South Jersey-based singer/songwriter Rodger Delany, it’s often the songs with the simplest, stripped-down arrangements that yield the greatest impact. Through the disc’s 16 tracks, Delany utilizes mostly simple arrangements of acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica and voice to convey his myriad of thoughts and emotions. This enables Delany’s raw voice to directly communicate the emotion behind his compositions, and the intensity of his guitar picking and strumming to compliment that emotion. His bare-bones style frequently hints at Harvest/After the Gold Rush-era Neil Young, as well as the more stripped-down sides of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. On the title track and album-opener, “Moment of Truth,” Delany shares his point of self-realization, while his sullen tone on “New” reveals his coming to grips with getting older. His gentle guitar and vocal tone express humble, heartfelt appreciation on “So Proud of You,” and his contrite tone admits vulnerability on “Catch Me When I Fall.” On the other end of the emotional spectrum, stormy relationship issues bare their fangs on Delany’s angrier rants, “Blind,” ”Without You” and “Second Guessed.” Delany throws a twist into the presentation with three piano numbers; his ode of longing “Coming Home,” the remorseful “Mischief” and the appreciative “Still Love America,” which closes the disc. Delany’s presentation is honest and from the gut; his words are delivered like he would express if he were seated next to you at a bar or café. The production and mix are appropriately simple, letting Delany’s minimalist performances do the talking with few, if any, major studio enhancements. For fans of basic, heartfelt emotion and music that gets directly to the point, Rodger Delany bares his soul on Moment of Truth, a moment of true person-to-person musical power. (To obtain the CD, visit Rodger Delany’s website, www.rodgerdelany.com.)