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Songs From Inside My Locker
Live at Feinstein's / 54 Below


Artist: Robbie Rozelle
Label: Broadway Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 26 June 2020

There’s a handful of releases that I actually crave these days - and they are becoming fewer and fewer. There is definitely more recordings being released these days, and I struggle to keep up with the reviews - and to be honest, I don’t review everything. I like to make you aware of what you should listen to, rather than panning the slightly less worthy. Broadway Records latest release certainly is one that I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time.

Recorded over two sold-out nights in 2019, Songs From Inside My Locker is an uproarious trip through Robbie Rozelle’s blistering high school days, where more often than not he would end up shoved in a locker for singing too loudly in the hallways. Now reclaiming the tunes that saved his life, he and his six-piece band The Two Drink Minimum (led by music director/arranger Josh D. Smith) weaves a musical tapestry that includes pit stops at The Wizard of Oz, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, William Finn, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Alice in Wonderland and more, including several of Robbie’s signature medleys and a brand new song written by Michael Finke especially for the show. The show, written by Robbie, was first performed in 2017 to much acclaim, and received several BroadwayWorld Award nominations. The album features special guests Bonnie Milligan (Head Over Heels) and Maya Days (Aida), and is produced by Emmy Award winner Michael J Moritz Jr. and Robbie Rozelle.

Regular readers will know that I generally love Broadway Records's Live From 54 Below releases (and this is one of them), and this one is perhaps one of the best of those. From the arrangements to the choice of songs, it’s top notch. Rozelle was clearly born to perform, and he makes the most of his chance to shine here. The stories he tells come from the heart, and the choice of songs are perfect. I loved the arrangements, and the medleys are well thought out. The band, 2 Drink Minimum (great name - I once had a trio called Best Served Chilled) are superb, and really suit the material. Picking favourites is like picking your favourite child on this album, but I loved ’The Kid’ and ’The Aged Out Medley’. The whole section about Hell’s Kitchen is also very clever, and very, very funny.

This recording has been 42 years in the making Rozelle tells us. Let’s hope it’s not another 42 years before the next.


Ian Gude

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