Love at first listen |

Love at first listen

Jason Starr

Can you fall in love with someone just by listening to their album once through? I think you can, and I think I just fell in love with Wendy De Rosa.

The sprightly nymph that rocked Denver’s club scene for years has moved to the San Francisco area, but she returns to Colorado to start the new year, playing at the Goat in Keystone Sunday night.

Her album, “Glow,” is captivating, and De Rosa’s triumphant, inspirational spirit become evident before the first song is half over.

It had me thinking about which friends of mine would like her music, and I immediately thought of the young women I know who are savvy and strong, who have been through the emotions of building an independent life and who have struggled in the various stages of love.

Yeah, you can fall in love with someone based solely on their music.

Take track 6 – “Home” – a lilting love song that features Boulder lap steel guitar player Sally Van Meter. With Van Meter playing haunting, low-pitched licks (as opposed to her normal bluegrass style), De Rosa offers herself apologetically.

Track 9 – “How Real” – is a challenge of a love song featuring the lyric: “Do you wanna say something, I mean, do you wanna say something … How real do you wanna be?”

The album moves from anger to revelry, from groove rock to jazz.

The jazz, in a style reminiscent of Norah Jones, appears on “Speed Bump,” where a smoky drum and bass lay a foundation for De Rosa’s voice and a sharp piano accompaniment.

The revelry comes on “This Night,” where De Rosa sings, “Don’t matter the hands on the clock, I won’t go home “till the music stops.”

Greg and Brian Mcrae and Eric Thorin provide a rocking backup band throughout the album, and various musicians, from pianists to vocalists and guitarists, pitch in with cameos.

Other themes include the difference between temporary vs. infinite brilliance; the leaving behind of family and friends upon setting out on one’s own life; and getting through it all triumphantly – the last song on the album is called “Rise Up.”

De Rosa’s music takes influence from Ani DiFranco, Jones and the Indigo Girls, but it is very much her own.

Check her out; you may fall in love too.

– Jason Starr

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