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Ron Tanski - Dragged You Down

Self release


Can you say Tom Waits? From the first word sung in a whiskey-soaked growl you can’t shake the very obvious attempt by Ron Tanski to sound like Mr. Waits. Even if his natural voice sounds like that, he uses a late night piano sound and makes a feeble attempt to write hipster lyrics. He achieves the atmospherics of the real deals sound without the poignancy and quirky lyrics and music. The lead-off track “Marvelous Night For The Blues” shows the promise of more originality to follow with its swinging boogie-woogie piano and upbeat approach. Ron has piano chops to spare.

More of his skill is on display in the sprightly boogie-woogie workout of “Hurricane Boogie”. Elsewhere Ron uses the requisite piano sound to create the desired mood. The music herein is sparse, with occasional guitar accompaniment and organ and drums on one tune. There are no melodies to speak of and not much sticks in your mind. The sound-alike aspect detracts from what could be an ok attempt at moody pour-out your soul music. Many of the songs serve as mood pieces that may grow on the listener, but “Cookieman” is a certified groaner. Oh God!...Check out these lyrics-“They call me the cookieman because cookies is what I loves to eat”. This isn’t even an attempt at sexual innuendo. Maybe he can sell it to Sesame Street. Ron has talent, it just seems to be misdirected here. “Where Were You When I Was Still Cheating”, a slow lament of missed lust comes mighty close to sounding like an authentic tune by you-know-who. Little else on this record warrants a description as a cloud of sameness hangs over the proceedings like the moose head in the living room.

The first-rate piano skills help to prop up the songs and add some depth. After a while this cd works on a level of a more direct and less wordy Tom Waits. It turns out to be a pretty good late night cry-in-your-beer record. I guess his voice just happens to sound like Mr. Waits, but it’s the pink elephant in the room that won’t leave. I’ll say this for Ron, he made a gutsy move by knowingly releasing a record that draws so much attention away from itself by so closely aping the original artist.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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