I have a soft spot for Toke (pet name for those in the in crowd), he is one of those great musicians thats just keeps coming up with great music. I loved his first two albums One Score And Ten, and Love Won Out, and it was with great anticipation that I unwrapped Ghosts and popped it on the player.

is a bit of a change of pace for Toke, some of the tracks are far more rock oriented than his previous adventures. I say that with a positive twist. Maybe he was becoming a little complacent and it was high time to turn the excitement level up. The opening track Inside Your Skull certainly shows that rock ability.

Track 5, House On The River sees a return to the Tokyo that we know so well.

To quote from a movie that I know many people have watched “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get next.” This quote though sums up Ghosts very well. Toke take off in new musical directions, Fiddles, Steel Guitars, Banjos, Cello’s, and even the often much maligned Accordion make appearances.

Diversity is the key to longevity in the music world. Toke demonstrates with authority that he has that diversity. He is a musician that is destined for great things. I had a delightful chat with him following the release of Love Won Out. I think he was slightly frustrated with the music world. When I asked him was his next project was going to be, he explained:

I am going on the coal miners daughter tour. I am filling up the trunk of my car with copies of the CD and I am going to bang on every radio stations door on the eastern seaboard!

I liked that response. Toke doesn’t wait for people to find him, he gets proactive! By the way, the coal miners daughter approach worked very well. I cannot recall the exact chart position he achieved, but it was pretty darn impressive.

Oh, and I did discover that Tokyo Rosenthal is not his real name. He used to be a professional boxer, and for effect took up the name for the sake of the ring. His real name is a mystery to me, but I do know that even his mother now calls him Toke.

is a very much a work that reaches out, the different musical styles and influences make me wonder if Toke is testing the waters to see which direction to head in next.

If you look at many artists you find that the third album is a watershed, and that certainly seems the case with Ghosts. I liked it all, I am a Toke fan. The only downside that I see is how he can perform some of the tracks live. It is not practical to tour with a huge band of people that only play on a few songs.

However I suspect that Toke has a plan, I’d be willing to bet that he has some ‘juiced up’ acoustic versions for the road. One of the amazing things about artists like Tokyo Rosenthal is their ability to move from the studio with all of the editing gizmo’s and play the same song live on a stage.

I will be interviewing Tokyo this afternoon at 4pm central (5pm eastern) live on Blog Talk Radio, we will be playing a couple of tracks from Ghosts, and you can bet that I have lots of questions for him.To listen in, point your  web browser to www.blogtalkradio.com a couple of minutes before we go on air, you will see the link to listen in.

Simon Barrett

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