Some Of The Reviews Received
Dance If You Can from Roland Digh – genial, tender yet
Roland Digh describes himself as ‘a scribe of
melodie & rhyme’ and I’d say that’s a pretty fair summary. His
latest album (and the first one of his that I’ve heard) ‘Dance If
You Can’ is a genial, tender yet thought provoking assortment of
folk, country and rocky blues. If you want to classify it, then file
under laid back Canadiana, better yet just sit back and enjoy the
The album has high spots and low, no that doesn’t mean
quality wavers, it means there are songs of light and hope and
others of shadow and despair. The mix may sometimes disquiet and at
others inspire with lyrics and melodies that engage and hold your
attention. Listen to the gentle inspirational muse of ‘Apple Blossom
Highway’ or the essential truth over the pulsing bass line of
‘Sometimes’ to find your way into this music. The lyrics can catch
you with their perception ‘Sadness’ hits hard, ‘Ballad of Nancy
Rose’ holds a narrative that tells a deeply moving human tale, while
the funky guitar riffs of ‘Somebody Told Me’ simply inspire
movement. This is an album replete with musical twists and turns
that take their time to pull together but when they do it’s a
collection that works.
For me the eponymous ‘Dance If You
Can’ holds the key to this album – at the same time it’s time
stunning, forlorn, hopeful and sorrowful – a song that touches your
heart and what more could you ask an artist to do for you?
Review by Dan Holland Folk Words UK
The Lady Known as ‘She’ from Roland Digh - a necessity in any music
Roland Digh is a British-Canadian songwriter who hails from the majestic Vancouver Island. Just releasing his newest album, The Lady Known as ‘She’, the second in a collection of 5 records, he is ready to take the music world by storm. With perfect elements of folk, country, and a little rock n' roll-blues mixed in, Digh creates a collection of songs that is not only intriguing, but also tells quite a whimsical story in their own right.
Roland Digh's Lady Known as ‘She’ is a stellar and captivating record that will have you eager to listen to the other four pieces in the collection. His knack for writing a great song seems to come with such ease. You should keep an ear out for Roland Digh, as he may just be one of the greatest, true musicians that we have heard in quite some time. The Lady Known as ‘She’ quickly proves itself as a necessity in any music fan's collection.
Review by Melissa Nastasi of Modern Mystery Blog USA 5 out of 5 Stars
A Shade of Reason from Roland Digh - a good balance between styles, deliveries, and melodies that are rarely observed on one album.
British/Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer, Roland Digh, releases his third album, A Shade Of Reason, which traverses the world of country, folk, and blues with heartfelt lyrics and pleasant, emotive arrangements. Each track represents something different with crooning ballads, European folk styles, and somewhat jazzy, new age embellishments that connote a diverse range of talent.
A Shade Of Reason, celebrates a fine mix of folk, roots, blues, jazz, and ballad songs, which effervesce with soulful lyrics, emotive melodies, and memorable lines. Roland knows how to paint great aural pictures of sound by creating different melodies and rhythms that are multi-dimensional. The English lyrics are arranged in poetic displays, as in “A Masterful Conspiracy,” or emotional ballads, such as “A Shade Of Reason” and “Sandra.” Ultimately, there is a good balance between styles, deliveries, and melodies that are rarely observed on one album. Every song is great, which means Roland has nothing to improve here. Besides the female vocals, Roland incorporates a bit of Lee Greenwood, Chris Isaak, and Jimmy Buffet vocals for a truly great concoction of music. A Shade Of Reason does not suffer from any insufficiency. Fans of the abovementioned musicians and folk music in general will love it.
Review by Matthew Forss of Inside World Music Cdn: 5 Stars out of 5
Wisdom and Wine from Roland Digh – a seemingly endless songwriting ability.
The British born and Vancouver Island based songwriter Roland Digh recently self-released his latest album, Wisdom and Wine via his Bandcamp page as well as his own website late last year. The very prolific veteran songwriter – a self-described “scribe of melodie & rhyme” – has played on six continents in nearly fifty-eight countries and has been on course to release an album each year since 2010, when he started his current five album long project. The well-travelled Digh writes his poetic songs from the heart and for the mind and they incorporate various different genres and musical styles. He has put together a team of experienced musicians to help perform and arrange his carefully crafted songs for each one of his different albums. Wisdom and Wine is the fourth in line and showcases the acoustic-based folk and country-leaning Americana side of his songwriting skills, proving to be one of his best and most cohesive album yet.
With Wisdom and Wine, his fourth in a series of five albums, songwriter Roland Digh has crafted an album full of memorable blues, country and folk-driven Americana melodies highlighted by his thought-provoking poetic lyrics. So be sure to check them all out, especially on his Bandcamp page, where you can stream and purchase all five of the albums and get the full spectrum of Digh’s broad-scoping and seemingly endless songwriting ability.
Review by: Justin Kreitzer of Atlas and the Anchor USA
But You’re Blind from Roland Digh - storytelling is exemplified at its finest with this one.
With the release of But You’re Blind, the fifth edition to Roland Digh’s group of albums since 2010, the musician has once again made his work available for both enjoyment and scrutiny. He refers to himself as “a scribe of melodie & rhyme,” and he isn’t far from the truth when saying that. He certainly has a sort of finesse for writing, which is evident within these 12 songs.
His albums are designed in a way that allows for the greatest possible variety. The style and impact of each subsequent song is meant to come as a surprise to listeners, and it serves its purpose appropriately. Storytelling is exemplified at its finest with this one. The album is presented in sections, beginning with a folk tone in the first few songs, merging into a country-meets-blues flavor during the handful of tracks in the middle of the album, and comes full circle again into a similar alternative, folk ending.
Roland Digh is like a jack of all trades, and he has managed to really allow his songwriting skills to stand out with But You’re Blind. His style is neither here nor there – it is neither a sound from a previous time period nor is it one necessarily rooted in the 21st century. Rather, it’s a blend between the two of those into a diverse sound he can call his own.
Review by Alec Cunningham of Blank Newspaper USA
Roland Digh - Dance If You Can - much taken with the music and performance
The set opens with ‘Apple Blossom Highway’, a join arms together track that immediately takes you back to the folk sound of 60s Greenwich Village and artists like Seeger, Andersen, Paxton and Rush. Fleshing things out musically with drums and marimba, ‘Sometimes’ has more of a country flavour, showcasing a voice that sounds a lot younger than his years, a bit of a twang and a touch of easy rolling Don Williams warmth, while the title track ‘Dance If You Can’ is a lovely rootsy waltz and ‘Somebody Told Me’ a barrel house blues boogie swing with some tasty licks and 50s styled female backing vocals.
This is one of five albums, available as a set or individually via Bandcamp or his website, each one varied in style and content but, primarily featuring just him and his guitar, generally adopting a mix of folk, blues and country. I don’t know if the other four albums offer the same consistent quality, but on the evidence of this I’d suggest they’re well worth chancing.
Review from Mike Davies, Net Rhythms - Birmingham UK
Roland Digh keeps it tasteful on The Lady Known as ‘She’
Roland Digh makes music that’s more like
Bob Dylan-era Greenwich Village than the modern folkies Fleet Foxes.
The man’s songs and playing are unrelentingly tasteful, whether he’s
dabbling in Sunday afternoon MOR (“Linda’s Name”) or easy listening
country (“Just A Man”). Occasionally, tracks like “For All The Alien
Children” are achingly sincere to the point where they sound like
outtakes from A Mighty Wind. Let’s admire Digh for holding on to his
ideals, especially when the world around him is heading to Hell in a
Review by Mike Usinger The Georgia Straight CDN
A Shade of Reason from Roland Digh - a stylistically flexible and restless writer.
A Shade of Reason reveals what a stylistically flexible and restless writer Digh can be at times. Although he’s likely never going to record electronic dance music or thrash metal, he sounds to be a master of almost anything that applies gentle, acoustic instrumentation to music. One of this album’s very best songs, “Once of a Pattern,” has a lovely acoustic guitar picked musical backing and a melody that may remind you of ‘70s Fleetwood Mac in one of their quieter moments. Its lyric has a distinctly reflective tone. It’s a song that could only have been written by one who’s lived a little and seen a lot. Anyone that’s survived their youthful angst will appreciate its wisdom.
That makes sense, too, because this release pays special attention to getting the words just right. These are fine songs, which also read quite well as written words alone. Roland Digh is a talented performer, and A Shade of Reason is a consistent collection of quality songs. It’s a bit of a throwback at times, back to the 60’s and 70s, which was a glorious era for fans of singer/songwriters. There was never a time where songwriting was so greatly respected. That era also produced some to the very best folk-rock songs. Perhaps Digh’s music is introducing a new, or revived, singer/songwriter era. Let’s hope so.
Review by Dan MacIntosh of Indie-Music USA Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Where Poppies Blow from the album Wisdom and Wine by Roland Digh
level is excellent, and the melody is memorable, appealing and
compliments the lyrics. The verse and chorus are made distinct by
the strong emotional impact of the chorus melody. The title is well
placed in the song and overall it is an excellent idea. I can easily
imagine this being played over the speakers on Remembrance Day at
every high school in the country.
Review from the Songwriters Association
Dance If You Can from Roland Digh - equal parts poetry and well done folk music.
What happens when you have a poet who wants to bring his words to life by recording those words as part of songs? You end up with an artist such as Roland Digh. Roland Digh is a Canadian-based writer who has been writing poems as well as performing as a singer-songwriter. Recently, Digh created a new album of his poems set to music. The new album from Roland Digh is called Dance if You Can.
Dance if You Can from Roland Digh is equal parts poetry and well done folk music. The resulting album is perfect for those who have a passion for verse and music.
Review by Matheson Kamin of Matheson’s Entertainment Blog USA
Rating: **** (four stars)