On a tribute to the late Winnipeg music scene veteran Ernie Blackburn, You Rock We Roll, Scott Nolan reminds us, "It's not the singer, it's the song." The words are apt in general, and perfectly suit Nolan's case, too. The 36-year-old Winnipegger is an extremely talented songwriter with a knack for melody, arrangements and lyrics, but possesses a unique, one-of-a-kind nasally-twang of a voice that takes some getting used to.
A few spins of his new album should make most people believers, though.
Nolan and a who's who of local musicians offer up 10 tracks of varied roots n' roll with some soulful heartbreak (Trial Separation), funk (My My Hey Hey) and some blues (Ain't Dead Yet, featuring guest vocals by the Holmes Brothers) to boot. Travel and road experiences are a common thread, but no matter what Nolan's singing about, the material is universally strong with Poor Man's Holiday, the horn-driven Sometimes and You Rock We Roll serving as the album's highlights.
Montgomery Eldorado isn't a real town, but the album is one worth visiting.
-- Rob Williams Winnipeg Free Press