Roger & The Rockets – Walking Band
Can you call it Americana when it hails from Sweden? Apparently so. Roger is lead vocalist and songwriter Roger Häggström of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and the Rockets are a rock ‘n’ roll band that plays rootsy grooves and country-rock sounds that will remind you of Brinsley Schwarz, Commander Cody, NRBQ, the Morells and BR5-49. Their second album features thirteen originals that include a Celtic touch in the foot-stomping title tune, the Roy Loney-styled rockabilly “Milk & Honey,” and the dobro-lined close harmony of “Crash & Burn.” There are British Invasion harmonies and chord changes in “Got to Go,” twangy baritone guitar on “Wendy,” and a Phil Ochs-styled folk protest on “One United State.” Häggström writes joyous odes to music making and blossoming love, chagrined lyrics of leaving one’s lover for the demands of a job, and inevitably broken hearts. In addition to bass, guitar and drums, the album includes banjolin, dobro, lap steel, washboard and violin. The latter, played by Björn Sohlin, is particularly effective on the cantering love song, “Maybe.” Häggström is a solid songwriter and vocalist, and the band is accomplished in both craft and range, resulting in a compelling sophomore album of folk-country-roots-rock.