who-was-that-man.jpgIt doesn’t take much Google effort to figure out that I am a fan of Tokyo Rosenthal. I have yet to listen to a Toke CD that I did not like. This by the way is an unusual situation, most musicians have used up their catalog of songs by the end of CD number two. And CD number three tends to be some raggedy mish mash of junk with maybe two worthwhile tunes on the whole adventure.

Not so with Toke. His catalog of great songs continues to grow and grow. I have to admit that when I heard that Toke was ready to strike again with a new CD, I was a happy camper!

I knew nothing about Who Was That Man? and it was driving me nuts. I decided that it was only right and proper to reach out to Tokyo Rosenthal and get the ‘scoop’.

In what can only be viewed with humor, I have to confess that about an hour after I got off the phone with him the mail person dropped a copy of the CD in my mail box!

Usually I listen to a CD first and then talk to the creator. This was completely at 180 degrees! I knew the history behind the songs before I had listened to them.

One of Toke’s great assets is his story telling ability. On stage he tells stories, and within his music he tells stories. In some ways I was treated to a private concert today.

Somehow hearing the story behind a song makes the song more powerful. The final track Little Old Man might be dismissed by some people as just a short cute song. Reality is different, the little old man in the song is actually the family cat who will be 18 years old this year.  Tokyo Rosenthal finds inspiration where lesser musicians do not.

The story behind (track 6) The Librarian had me howling in laughter. It is a story so bizarre that I thought Toke had lost his mind! But, I checked it out, it is true! How many 87 year old porn star actresses can you name?

Who Was That Man? is somewhat more orchestrated than his other CD’s. But even this aspect has many stories behind it. Whats not to love about a British Mariachi band? That in itself is a long complex story that I will share one of these days. Pancho Ballard And The Banditos rock! For now you must just take my word that the art of Mariachi is alive and well in the UK. In fact I would not be surprised if some Mariachi is not played at the upcoming royal wedding!

One is Tokes greatest assets is his absolute lack of needing to prove himself. If you don’t like Toke, walk away. What I admire most however is that he spends time to recognize the musicians around him. Warren Sharp is just a young man, I believe he has just turned 20 years old, but this young man has the skill of someone twice his age. Warren plays lead guitar on San Antone (track 7), this young man will go far!

Tokyo Rosenthal has a winner with Who Was That Man? I think it goes on ‘street release’ in early May, but I suspect that if you visit his web site www.tokyorosenthal.com and grovel a bit he may sell you an early copy.

For mere mortals though, the best solution might be to wait until May/1 and order it from your favorite music vendor.

Great CD Toke! Once again you have outdone yourself.

Simon Barrett

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