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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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The Tide's In
By Brian Rolland
Label: On The Full Moon Productions
The Tide's In tracks
1. Tide's In
2. Magellan
3. Free Fall
4. Doliber's Cove
5. Collage/Water Is Wide
6. Ask Me To
7. Roots of Rhythm Remain/African Skies
8. Millenium Calypso
9. Somewhere
10. Kick It
11. Catch Me If You Can
12. Moonlight Holds The Key
Lunar Affects
If you have heard Ottmar Liebert or Craig Chaquico, then you may have an inkling of what Brian Rolland sounds like. However, you will not know what his music feels like until you have heard one of his exciting albums. This one is called The Tide's In.

The music features fantastic guitar, gentle voices and compositions that are never lackluster. It is island hopping, wind cruising and sun worshipping for those who love the sea, whether by ancient wooden schooner or folded paper boat. The album, with both vocals and instrumentals, is sometimes contemporary, sometimes jazzy and always pleasurable. Brian's collaborators include Hope Carpenter, Marianne Murphy, and Katy Auburn on vocals, John Lockwood on bass, Bob Weiner on percussion, Eugie Castrillo on congas, Dave Mattacks on drums and various other instruments and of course, the Brian on guitar and vocals.

The title cut The Tide's In is over eight minutes long and quite intricate. Great bass part from Lockwood in this tune. It is a leisurely start to a journey of sun and fun that might never end. Gentle waves wash upon the shore like open arms that beckon you to the sea. The sun is warm on your face as the watery foam tickles your toes. Jump In! Would you believe there are classical elements hidden like treasure in this one?

Collage/The Water is Wide took me a while to get into because it is based on one of my favorite folk tunes, There is a Ship. The tune is known by many names and goes back probably a hundred years, but the idea of surmounting huge obstacles remains the same in any era. Brian did a great job of making it his own and keeping it simple, yet pleasing. Great piano and percussion in this one.

If you were heading out to Massachusetts Bay, no trip would be complete without a trip over to Marblehead and Doliber’s Cove. Not only is it the name of one of Brian's best songs, but a great place to visit. The craggy shoreline is full of nature’s secret hiding places and strange oddities. The Dolibers were one of the founding families of Marblehead and they lived in a wooden barrel for two years. Look it up.

Millennium Calypso is a great instrumental featuring Brian's lighthearted fretwork and smooth bass for a lively song full of rhythm and sun. You can hear the water wash up against the prow as the spinnaker snaps and the ship races with the warm New England wind.

Moonlight Holds the Key is a terrific song that calls upon all your favorite impressionists from Monet to Ravel and takes us on a spirited ride through the warm summer night. Along the way, a bright crescent moon lights up the landscape giving romance a helping hand. This is the best song on the recording in my opinion.

It seems that every time I hear a Brian Rolland album the time slips away, the sun goes down and I am left with a feeling of longing for the next song. The Tide's In is no different. Brian's compositions are full of Latin influences and surprises like the aforementioned classical stylings. Get set for an adventure.
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 6/27/2008
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