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Music Review - `Weathervane` by Rob Splatt Appelblatt (ea)

Rob Splatt Appelblatt - Weathervane  (click on image to watch video)

 09 September 2019



“Seize your day, don’t delay..” That’s Rob “Splatt” Appelblatt offering some hard-won wisdom on “And Release,” the opening track from his full-length debut, “Weathervane”.

The Long Island singer-songwriter, nicknamed “Splatt,” has taken a circuitous path toward a music career. He began playing guitar after college and has spent several years working in film and television production. But it was a week at Steve Earle’s Camp Copperhead songwriting retreat ignited his musical ambitions.

There’s a world-weary ache to “And Release,” which is accented by brawny electric guitars, smoky harmonica, and a slipstitch beat.  Vocally, his wood smoke rasp recalls the endearing charms of Sam LLanas of the BoDeans. But the song represents just one color in Splatt’s sonic paint box.

“Caroline” careens out of the speakers like a freight train, the lyrics chronicle a romantic impasse, but the arrangement and instrumentation are full-speed ahead, featuring a click-clack rhythm, woozy organ, razor-sharp guitar riffs, carnival keys, and whistle-y harmonica. 

Things get surprisingly soulful on “Plain Old Fool,” which also shares some musical DNA with the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” Meanwhile, “Movin’ On” seems to channel “Sticky Fingers” era ‘Stones, even as the lyrics flip the script on  Glimmer Twins’ casual misogyny. 

The album’s centerpiece is “Thunder Mountain,” a blast of bottleneck Country Rock that charts the course of Frank, a corvette-driving badass who enlists and returns from war a different man.  Other interesting songs include the Talking-Blues of the title track and the anthemic “Homeward Bound.” This debut manages to feel lean and expansive at the same time.



Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here





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