Rob Morsberger – show review

The Boston Herald describes his latest release as the “album is the kind of hyperliterate pop-inflected singer-songwriter outing that went out of style when Warren Zevon died. He can write a hook that could make angels weep.” The Boston Globe: “Think ‘storyteller’ with a literary, cinematic, intellectual bent.”

I had never heard of Rob Morsberger when he stepped onto the stage as the opening act for Crash Test Dummies – barefoot, wearing jeans and a muted Hawaiian shirt, and a straw hat with the brim turned upward. He smiled at the silent audience in the half-filled coffeehouse, and then laughed, “You guys are so quiet…” Then he began to play the electric piano, singing a plaintive, heartfelt melody, tapping out the rhythm with his bare foot. For about 4 minutes, he seemed to be lost in himself, and then emerged to polite applause. I was hooked.

On Rob Morsberger’s website, he describes himself as having “rightfully drawn comparisons to Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright, Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson and Warren Zevon (mixed with a touch of Randy Newman’s absurdist wit).  I can hear Rufus Wainwright, but as for me, I heard him alternately channeling Elvis Costello and XTC’s Andy Partridge – both, coincidentally a couple of my favorite songwriters and lyricists.  I managed to capture some of it on film, but the videos from his own YouTube channel are much superior in quality.  See if you can hear what I heard in this tune, which Morsberger introduced at length, but eventually admitted, “I just wanted a song that incorporated the phrase ‘I’m still here, you bastards'”:

With a string of film and TV soundtrack credits, Morsberger has clearly been around for some time; hopefully commercial success purely on the basis of his music is in his future.  I was definitely convinced.  Check him out!

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