Roth’s songs are of subjects accessible to the audience and you can go along with his voice and instrument to a different place.
Kevin Roth: The Dulcimer Man
With featured guest Jill Haley, Oboe and English Horn
January 31, 2016
Johnson County Community College, Polsky Theater, Overland Park, Kansas
Kevin Roth, with a clear, folk music-style voice, has done over 47 albums. Songs from his latest album, “Awakenings” were played and sung at this concert. The acoustics of the semi-circular hall allowed the audience to catch the nuances of Roth’s voice and lyrics. Accompanied by Jill Haley on oboe or English Horn---what breath control and clarity of sound---who added just the right touch at just the right moment to emphasize words or melody. Indeed, like icing on the cake.
Kevin Roth has been performing for over thirty years and relates stories of his time on the road and working with the late Mary Travers from Peter, Paul & Mary or with Hetty West who wrote “500 Miles.” Roth accompanied himself on piano, or dulcimer, and travels with a specially made instrument (guitar-cimer) which is a combination dulcimer and guitar. The first two songs were the stand-outs, “Metamorphosis” and the haunting “Aurora Borealis” and sitting on a summer porch, dreaming of the aurora borealis that comes in winter. Then there is the humorous “Lady Bug & Moon” about a lady bug who is particular about what mate to choose, whether a spider or grasshopper, one being steady and the other to take her to Hollywood. Also included were crowd favorites, “500 Miles,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” “If I Had A Hammer” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane.”
I still find myself humming “Aurora Borealis” and will now look a different way at a lady bug, wondering what is really going on in that garden. “Svengali’s Muse” is asking, where is the muse? After having a touch of the muse of creativity, it is like hearing “…your train whistle in the middle of the night.“ Roth’s songs are of subjects accessible to the audience and you can go along with his voice and instrument to a different place. As he says, “Yesterday is history, is a mystery”... so linger awhile and listen.
Copyright 2016 Marie Asner