Eddie Lascu 17-Dec-2008 Dreamer

Born in the Netherlands, Anton Roolaart moved to USA as a child. Constantly exposed to music as a child (his father was an avid listener of classical music), Roolaart started talking classical guitar lessons at age 13 and continued learning the instrument on his own throughout his adolescence. Upon expanding his horizon, Roolaart got hooked by progressive rock, classics like Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd leaving a deep mark on his musical influences.

According to the liner notes, Roolaart started thinking about doing an album of symphonic rock in 2003. In 2004 he started working on what would become “Dreamer”. Old songs as well as new songs were recorded in his home studio between 2004 and 2006. The music was entirely composed, arranged, recorded and produced by Anton Roolaart.

Despite being an accomplished multi instrumentalist, Roolaart recruited several musicians from the New Jersey area to help him with the recording process. Some impressive names are listed on the album: Rave Tesar (keyboards – Renaissance, Annie Haslam), Rich Berends (drums - Mastermind), Vinnie Puryear (bass) and Charles Descarfino (drums). Roolaart is providing the vocals and the guitar parts along with some keyboard parts on some of the songs. The result is a very well crafted album, with lots of maturity, given the experience of all the musicians who made contributions to it. The interesting fact though about “Dreamer” is that throughout the entire album there is this undeniable feeling that this is a personal affair. The level of emotion that is poured into each song, the evocation of past events, the lyricism of texts and the suave atmosphere that is created within will all convince you that Roolaart is a fabulous story-teller, much in the vein of Guy Manning or Steve Cochrane.

Of the 8 songs on the album, only one is under 5 minutes and 5 are over 6 minutes – I include these details as a testimony of the artist’s capabilities as a song writer. My favourite of the bunch is the 7th one, “Manon” because it includes a chorus followed by a guitar solo that will rock you to the core. The title track is also good and so is “Mid’s Summer’s Day”. A special mention has to be made for the cover of the album. It dons a very beautiful painting by Michael Phipps.

The word on the street is that Anton Roolaart is working on his next album. With “Dreamer” he set a very high standard for him. We shall await the release of his new album with great expectations.

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