Fever That Yearns

Fever That Yearns Roland Trenary
Fever That Yearns Roland Trenary

Album Notes

The CD mix features Trenary’s guitar, mandolin, bass and vocals, and he’s joined on several cuts by Bob Estes on fiddle, Bruce Johnson on banjo (and harmonica) and Norma Talbot on harmony vocals. The acoustic instrumentation is understated throughout, weaving layers of rhythm and harmony to support a range of interesting melodies and thoughtful lyrics. The songs’ subject matter ranges from ballads of a 1931 heat wave and a 1940 dancehall lothario, through observations on everyday ups and downs, losses and discoveries, even life and death. From the unrequited love of the opening “Fever That Yearns,” through the tongue-in-cheek duet “You Hurt Me,” to the ever hopeful “We Do Remain,” an underlying optimism permeates the album.

Roland Trenary released his first solo CD, Fever That Yearns, in 2007. A musician since his 1966 Anoka, Minnesota high school days but a songwriter since only 2003, he has collected twelve of his best original songs and added two cover tunes to complete this fourteen-song collection. Included is a live bonus track from Trenary’s trio, The Bluegills, who had been performing together twenty-five years.

REVIEWS:

    Masamoto Nakae marvelously intimate world

The music of Roland Trenary shows marvelous harmony of the gift of Muse with state of mind and skill. His music is so natural, moderate, gentle and sweet that it sooth us far better than any New Age or so called Healing music can do. On the other hand, we can easily see a lot of fever and wit are prepared here and there that add his work moderately stimulative touch. Every tunes (including two covers) with elaborate details are quite fine and compelling and he arranges its order so well that it keeps us moving and being pleasant from the first note to the end.

 

    Jerry Barney Fascinating.

On most of the recordings I receive for review, it doesn’t usually take me to long to get a perspective on the musical approach being taken. But it took a little longer with “Fever That Yearns” by Roland Trenary, who lives in both Minnesota and Arizona. While it was immediately enjoyable, the music seemed quite different from anything I’d previously encountered.
First, with 12 of the 14 selections here being original, it was obvious this is a singer-songwriter recording. (How’s that for being perceptive?). But the lyrics are quite abstract, and while the mostly-acoustic music is definitely bluegrass-friendly, it’s not exactly bluegrass.
Roland is a longtime member of a mostly-acoustic group, Carol Jean and the Bluegills, which does “cover jobs” of material by people ranging from the Louvin Brothers and Hank Williams through the Beatles and Bonnie Raitt. “Fever That Yearns” is his debut recording as a singer-songwriter. (The final track is by Carol Jean and the Bluegills.)
So I contacted him in Arizona and asked, basically, “What are you trying to do on this CD?”  “I write lyrics knowing people won’t understand them right away,” he said. “I like people to think.”
Well, Roland has definitely achieved his lyrical goal, then. The songs are fascinating, with less-than-immediately-obvious wordplay and chords that shift back and forth.
“I’m avoiding clichés (in hopes of) keeping the songs fresh in the listeners’ ears,” Roland said. He continued that one of his biggest influences is (are?) the Beatles. After one thinks about it, the twists and turns of Roland’s melodies and lyrics sort of suggest what the “Fab Four” might have done during certain phases of their career if they would have would have had a yen to do a lot of acoustic recording. On the lead song, Roland’s voice periodically snaps into falsetto, which sounds rather like early Beatles
In addition to singing, Roland plays guitar, mandolin, bass and banjolin. He is assisted by Bob Estes, fiddle; Bruce Johnson, banjo and harmonica; Bob Close, guitar and vocal; Carol Peltier, vocal; and Norma J. Talbot, vocal. There is a prominent female lead voice on one of the songs, and the liner notes indicate it is provided by Norma
I find Roland’s vocal quality somewhat like a somewhat-less-folksy version of Bill Staines.
To me, everything about this CD is unique. I like it and would recommend it.

 

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