Goodbye El Dorado
An Imaginative and Loving Sideways Look at Living In LA
Probably because there are so many songs on here (13) I’ve struggled to find the time to give it it’s due desserts…… until today.
A founder member of the famed Paisley Underground scene, Tolman has released 8 albums under his own moniker and 2 with his previous band True West prior to this release; yet sadly his name didn’t resonate when he sent me this shiny new disc.
After playing the first two tracks, Los Angeles and Kid, in the car last Friday I realised the loss was mine; not his.
For the uninitiated like me I’m not sure where Tolman’s music fits in; as there are hints at Country, Americana and even Pop in quite a few songs; but theirs also a sense of grown up humour too; especially with 405 where he somehow manages to make traffic jams on said Highway sound romantic and windswept to this old Englishman; and later Satellite Bar is the type of thing I’d expect from Barenaked Ladies or the like.
Tolman himself has quite the droll singing voice; but that added to the undoubted twinkle in his eye makes his songs perfectly suitable for the more ‘mature’ of us; and I defy listeners not to smile when they find themselves absentmindedly singing along to either Yuba City or Take It Easy, Take It Slow; which alongside the the self depreciating Time Flies will be a signature tune for many of us, especially the chorus of:
“The clock it takes a stroll
Every day takes its toll
And you find yourself not wiser not smarter
Time Flies but wisdom walks”
Come on; what’s not to like?
I’d love to think Tolman’s odes to his American homeland and especially The City of Angels, can find a home there, as I worry that Randy Newman type ‘irony’ that packs every poptastic line in North Hollywood Dream and the title track Goodbye El Dorado may just be better accepted in Europe and beyond.
Hmmmm ….. choosing a favourite song isn’t as easy as it might be; as a couple I’ve already mentioned should be contenders; but I’m going to give a Tie to the dryly amusing love song Do You Like The Way and the jaunty Pacific Rain; which made me smile and my toes tap, while mumbling the catchy chorus …….. again; what’s not to like?
Of course there’s a place for Russ Tolman in Americana’s huge pantheon and I’m pretty sure his fans will be the type that aren’t swayed by arrogant music reviewers and rely more on word of mouth from their well honed and knowledgeable friends; of whom I now count myself as one too.
PS The CD has 13 tracks and the download 10.
Released April 19th 2019