Bob Rylett landed at my door carrying a guitar and a small tornado of songs. He’d been hounding the big dream from town to town, working bars and small cafes, playing whatever people want to hear.
Regular juke-box with a smile. Watched him do his job on an unsuspecting crowd at a joint on Main Street where he took everyone prisoner. Though it’s always tough to reach out and hold an audience with stuff they haven’t already heard before, this is what he does for a living. They never really stood a chance. Somewhere that night, in amongst the surprise of songs comes a version of Paul Simon’s ‘The Boxer’ but delivered with a rough authentic urgency absent from the original. It becomes pure autobiography: the troubador staying on his feet, standing his ground, fearless. All business, he punches out one number after another. With hooks in all the right places. Working a sweat and working the crowd. For all the determined world like it’s still fifty bucks and a burger and a long way home. Things turned out much the same when I took him into the studio. The intention was simply to run a few takes of songs so we could see what we liked and figure out what to do with it. But he got right down to work just as soon as the engineer finished setting him up in a booth. No messin’ and no stopping. No repeats and no second tries. Just one song after another. That’s what he does. That’s how he works. That’s what we captured. Twenty songs in ninety-five minutes. It’s a record.- Colin Lazzerini