Rustic Overtones recently re-released their 1997 classic Rooms By The Hour giving me license to gush about an album that was in my top 10 all-time records but has now been cemented into my top 5 all-time records. Why the jump? Two songs: “Cherry” and “Last Night’s Band.” The inclusion of these two bonus tracks took an awesome album and made it absolutely epic. Am I over-hyping this? Maybe, but not for me.
You see, I have a live version of “Cherry” and it’s a great song with a catchy chorus and funky horn line but it becomes a whole different beast when you hear the studio version. As for “Last Night’s Band,” I had never heard the track so when its mid-tempo funk blares through the speaker with organs and horns bumping it makes you wonder why it was never included on any previous releases.
Look, I bought the original release off Amazon a few years ago and I repurchased the album. The new version is strictly DIY with a personalized insert and fresh artwork. All the old favorites like “Sugarcoat,” “Feast or Famine,” and “Iron Boots” are still present in their original form. After re-listening to Rooms, my favorite part is the breakdown and ending solo by saxophonist Ryan Zoidis on “History Crush.” There is just so much soul and melody in such a tiny piece of music that I am completely jealous that I will never be able to create something as perfect.
Unfortunately, Rooms By The Hour is only available through Maine retailer Bull Moose Music. Don’t let that be your excuse.