Tokyo Rosenthal & Neil Bob Herd play Backstage at the Green Hotel Kinross on Sunday 6th October 2019 at 8.00pm for EMS /Mundell Music.
Neil Bob Herd
Although NBH may be familiar as guitarist / vocalist with Alt. bluegrassers The Coal Porters, he also steps out as a solo act, performing original material in the roots/ Americana vein, but with a distinct brogue – some years ago the venerable Proclaimers convinced the young NBH that he should sing in a geographically non-specific Scots accent.
Having played in a selection of Scottish outfits, came to London and hooked up with various acts on the busking / alternative cabaret scene, spent a few years as “Scots Billy Bragg” spanning music & cabaret / comedy circuits – decided to focus on music after an unnamed Scottish comedy producer unwisely suggested abandoning the guitar…. formed pre-grunge power trio Handsome – made vinyl records.
Decided to focus on playing rather than endless band-administration and had musical adventures such as co-ordinating 25 Louie-Louie playing guitarists for comic & provocateur Mark Thomas, developing a steel guitar habit – precipitating a memorable summer spent in the Hank Williams bio-musical “Pills Thrills & Backaches” (“Hank” became Count Arthur Strong…) a brief tenure followed in suit-rockers Avalanche (“Marti Pellow meets the Bad Seeds..”) Then relented and formed a new outfit The Trophy Husbands, playing proper twanging country music. This led to being co-opted into Sid Griffin’s Western Electric and The Coal Porters… so we’re back at the top.
“Rosenthal can draw you into his lyrics much the same way that James Taylor and Don Henley can”.
“Take Jackson Browne’s personal confessions and wrap them in Kris Kristofferson’s world weary tales of broken relationships and you have an idea of what to expect from Tokyo Rosenthal.”
“This is Americana with real teeth in the lyrics”
This and more is what the critics are saying about Tokyo Rosenthal. But it wasn’t an overnight trip. Hardly, as “Toke” has spanned the music scene for three decades. But it was in 2007 when recognition finally reached him through the recording of his CD, “One Score And Ten”.
The song “Edmonton” off this album led to Rosenthal receiving the key to the city of Edmonton as an award for cultural and artistic contributions to Alberta’s capitol city. This also led to a month long tour of Canada sponsored by West Jet Airlines, TV and Radio appearances, and an opening slot for several nights in Toronto for Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and former Byrd and Burrito Brother, Chris Hillman. Toke was personally picked by Chris to share the bill. He has also opened for the likes of America, Stephen Stills, Rick Roberts, Josh Williams, Jackie Leven, and Come On In My Kitchen, in addition to headlining shows. His recent festival work includes SXSW, The Edmonton Fringe Festival, The Carrboro Music Festival, Tyler’s Americana Festival, and the World Music United Festival.
In a career that started with the country rock boom, Rosenthal has honed his craft and “Rootsy/ Americana with a little blues thrown in” sound to perfection. His move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina allowed him to team up with the famed producer and recording star Chris Stamey in the studio. But prior to that Rosenthal made his reputation while living in Rhode Island, New York, and Los Angeles. He headed such groups as the legendary Harpo and Slapshot and Treo Gato as well as his solo endeavors. This has helped him receive radio airplay in the U.S. and Canada , and radio stations in the UK and Europe are spinning Tokyo as well.
While content to let the critics compare his style to others, Tokyo doesn’t hesitate to point out his influences, who include The Band, The Byrds, The Indigo Girls, Gene Clark, Emmylou Harris, and believe it or not Janis Joplin.