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Musician gains unsurprising applause

Guturist and Vocalist Rob Frommel is a Missouri Native whose first CD release, “A Thousand Times,” combines 16 years of fine-tuning and reworking. Frommel currently plays locally with his bands Bitterspoon and Complete Strangers.

Never judge a musician by how they look. I took one quick glance at the front and back of Rob Frommel’s new and first CD, “A Thousand Times,” and thought I had him figured out.
With the picture of Rob Frommel on the back (a spitting image of the well known country singer Travis Tritt) and the dirt image on the front, I would have bet my life that this guy was another country singer. I learned quickly that not everyone with a scraggly beard, Bo Bice hair and a flannel shirt sings country.
The first time I listened to this CD all the way through, I couldn’t recall a single catchy sound. My view completely flip-flopped when I finished listening to the CD the second time through.
Frommel is your average modern mellow-rock style singer. The CD starts out with a Tommy Emmanuel sort of vibe on the guitar. Emmanuel is arguably one of the most talented acoustic guitarists alive right now, so when I heard this CD start, it didn’t quite fill me up with the jaw-dropping guitar work that I expected.
The songs jump around and change from purely acoustic to soft electric. It even throws in a small taste of a saxophone. A handful of the songs had instrumentals that made me expect Jack Johnson to slide in with some smooth lyrics.
Since the CD kind of psyched me out of hearing what I expected to hear, it didn’t do anything for me. After researching a little biography on Frommel and listening through again, I had a completely different view.
I applaud Frommel on “A Thousand Times” because it was put together with 16 years worth of songwriting work. Every song had more feeling the second time through once I knew this. He waited until each individual song sounded exactly how he wanted it to sound.
Yes, he could have sung someone else’s lyrics with an auto-tuned voice and a new single every three weeks, but he didn’t. He chose to head down the path that leads musicians to the title of an artist, instead of the label of just another singer. Although Frommel is fairly average musically, I would recommend listening to him over any average singer with a pimped out microphone.
I have yet to hear a lyric from any of the songs that explains why he chose the title “A Thousand Times.” I could come up with a pretty good guess saying he probably wrote, played, edited and revised every song about “a thousand times” over the years before officially putting them together on a CD.
It’s not one of those albums where you say in the middle of a conversation “hold on, I love this song!” If that is what you are looking for, your next favorite is not likely going to be from this CD. If you listen to music because of what it is, how it’s made, and the effort you know that was put into it, “A Thousand Times” is definitely worth listening to.

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