Vinnie Rose: Cold Wind Blowin'

Vinnie Rose - Cold Wind Blowing

Liner Notes by John Timmers

Cold Wind features Vinnie Rose’s mastery of many familiar genres and his formidable sensitivity in probing new directions all with the vocal control and virtuosic guitar solos fans came to enjoy on his debut album American Dream. From the arresting take on loss of a loved one and alcohol abuse in the country lament Please Take This Drink, to the joyous romp of Rock n’ Roll Country, to the striking imagery of Eagles, Cold Wind covers vast and subtle emotional and musical terrain with refreshing subtlety and accessibility.

1. Breakdown

The album opens with Breakdown, a funky, medium trot about a man trying to get a woman talking with him again. It alternates between a street march feel, with a guitar riff that picks and pokes as Vinnie preaches around the blues and minor scales, and a smooth, gliding feel that inhales and exhales with the chord pattern. Vinnie solos in the middle, which features his enviable mastery of his instrument and the genre, before taking it home.

2. Give It One More Chance

Next up is the Give It One More Chance, an uplifting, medium tempo pop/rock gem with a funky bass line. The easy, relaxed feel cushions Vinnie’s vocal lines as they slide and skip with laser-scope precision and plead for another chance. Transitions between sections feature tight rhythmic coordination that jostle before pulling back into the groove.

3. Please Take This Drink

A fine contribution to the great tradition of country ballads, Please Take This Drink offers a lamenting vocal line with poignant lyrics about addiction to alcohol. The stark portrayal of a man slowly passing out from alcohol while pleading to a woman in a picture to take the drink from his hand simply leaves one gasping.

4. There’s Still A Spark

Polishing the 12/8 rock feel of the 50s, There’s Still a Spark stretches Vinnie’s voice into the falsetto range as he croons through a description of lovers in a listless stalemate. The guitar solo alternately drives and tiptoes as the rhythm section saunters in support before winding down with an exhortation in chords and crisp, bent notes.

5. Have a Cold One for Me

Have a Cold one for Me describes a father’s thoughts on missing a holiday weekend with his wife and kids. The extended major tonality and rich guitar pallette provide an apt aural vista as the song grows from reflective at the beginning to pensive in the last verse, where the lyrics suggest the father may be absent from the world altogether.

6. Rock n’ Roll Country

Rock n’ Roll Country delivers a joyful rock and roll, country blues. Vinnie opens by listing recent music that lacks the sincerity fans once relied on rock and roll country to provide, then promptly does so himself over a visceral shuffle feel. This is the sort of country tune people sing along to in bars even with strangers.

7. Eagles

The novel, meditative waltz Eagles shifts between major and minor tonalities with its subtle melody and lyrics that depict the flight of an eagle. A call and response between the solo vocal line and the background vocals builds to an evocative peak as the eagle “shoots like an arrow shot from the sky” and relaxes into a denoument that gently sets the listener back on the ground.

8. Post Road

Post Road is a masterful country-rock song about rural teenage hijincks. Vinnie’s well-crafted lyrics and melody drive the marching country feel and ground the guitar’s counterpoint, which together build refreshingly long phrases uncharacteristic of the genre.

9. Home town

The folk-rock Home Town ponders the difference between the home town remembered and the home town of the present with a dense, skipping melody that gives way to a chorus with rich backing vocals. The major tonality proves to be a subtle feint as we learn how unkind time can be to a town and its people.

10. Me

Me offers an impressionistic, rumination about subjective experience with a gently stepping melody that rides upon a skipping guitar pad. A cascade of images lead to a wistful sense of hope as the lyrics repeat “it’s all for” before the guitar slows to an unresolved conclusion.