Back from the Brink, Rocky 
Votolato Moves Forward Again

Categories: Folk You!

Bjorn Lexius
Rocky Votolato

Rocky Votolato is a guy on the shore skipping stones across the water. Part craft, part amusement, the circumspect Seattle songwriter's success and happiness has ebbed and flowed like the tide, something he's gradually grown more accustomed to, though it's not always been a smooth ride. Finally firmly at peace, he's enjoying that purgatorial moment between albums.

"Most of the songs are there, but I'm still writing the last few, and I have a couple different offers from labels to work with them," he says about weighing his options. "I'm in a real open space again. These songs are extremely intimate and they're just kind of happening on their own. That's really the best thing and it feels much better than being burned out or feeling overexposed."

Votolato's songs subtly lay behind strumming acoustic and shuffling percussion. The lyrics vacillate between bare-wire dispassion like "Suicide Medicine" ("Is it the red wire or the blue wire? Just pick one and cut"), and the poignant poeticism of the Elliot Smith-like "Fragments," where he notes "there's a constant farewell into a new dream full of unpolluted sorrows."

Votolato's been in several bands, including eclectic punks Waxwing with his younger brother Cody (of The Blood Brothers). He's also released solo albums for 15 years, finding modest underground success with his fourth full-length, Makers (released in 2006), and the 2007 follow-up, The Brag & Cuss.

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