Robert Scott Weinrich who is known as Wino and also better known for his work as a member of doom metalers Saint Vitus and the heavy metal supergroup Shrinebuilder takes a totally different approach on his newest solo effort Adrift. This time he goes almost completely acoustic and the results are a disc that has a very personal feel and explores the roots of American music origins. Wino, in the best singer/songwriter tradition gives you twelve examples of musical storytelling that will bring back shades of the traveling mistrial who laid his life out for everyone to hear through his music. I think of someone like Bob Dylan or maybe even back to Mr. Dylan's idol Woodie Guthrie. I could even see Wino on a street corner with the guitar case open for contributions as he plays. There is a definite folk feel but at times on this disc it has a little more of an edge to it then those that came before.
Wino's storytelling ability is evident right from the start as the title track "Adrift" comes at you like a Gordon Lightfoot yarn. The seafarer in you will love this track and the feel that Wino gets is one that has salty spray hitting you in the face as you are set "Adrift". This is just one incarnation of the singer/songwriter. He also takes you down the blues highway with "I Don't Care" where he adds a terrific bit of electric guitar and then traverses a more mainstream road but still with a bluesy feel with "Hold On Love". Once again he punctuates this song with some dynamite electric work on the outro. This kind of diversity permeates the album and allows Wino to express his feelings in a much more intimate way.
His most electric moment comes with the song "Mala Suerte". For this song he gives you a good dose of pure hard rock that is like a bridge for the album. Kind of like when Dylan decided he to didn't have to stick strictly to the acoustic stuff. Some emotions just come through better with a little bit of punch behind it.
This disc is like a fine wine (pun intended) that gets better with each play. As you listen to Wino in this format it is evident this album would never have been made by someone who has not had some of life experiences behind him. There is a maturity and sense of familiarity that an old codger like me can relate to. When he covers Motorheads "Iron Horse/Born To Lose" and Savoy Brown's "Shot In The Head" there is a feeling that these are songs that say something about the years Wino has spent on the planet. The fact that they are drawn from so different of genres also is a telling sign of how much he has witnessed and experienced. Without a doubt there is something for everyone on this disc.
This one took me by surprise and a very pleasant one at that. It made me think back on the past but also take a look at what lies ahead. Not only has Wino shown me his musical ability, he has earned my respect as a songwriter and person with this album. I certainly hope this is not just a one time offering as he has a lot to say in a most worthwhile way. Keep it up and I will be sampling this vino often!
2. I Don't Care
3. Hold On Love
4. Mala Suerte
5. Old And Alone
6. Iron Horse/Born To Lose
7. Suzanes Song
10. Shot In The Head
12. Green Speed