Roderick, Michael : Open Letters
Probably the most succinct fan description of the music of Michael Roderick to date is 'Billy Joel and Steely Dan on a night out with Joni Mitchell', with '...it's like Michael Card on acid' coming in as a close second. 'Open Letters', Roderick's debut recording, may not make you get up and dance (though some rare instances of this have been reported), but it's likely to make you sit down and think. 'Open Letters' is the work of a vocal Christian and a solid musician unabashedly in search of truth and committed to the creation of good art. The 'Christian' music industry produces precious little worth hearing, much like the modern American church, and Roderick is on the path to bringing substantive art back into Christian American culture. Fans of Roderick's music can be found both inside and outside the Christian community, as the music he makes is the music of the human condition; the music stands on it's own merits as artistic creation. The album artwork was created entirely from original photography by painter and graphic artist Jen Roderick, his wife of two years. Every sound on the record with the notable exception of drums (Billy Williams), a few sections of background vocals (Betsy Kelderhouse and Ginger Singleton), and 1/2 the guitar duo on 'For Zhenya' (producer Eric Myers) was played or sung by Michael himself. Michael has established himself in the songwriting community through his ability to communicate his passions, joys, and pains with clarity, honesty and unique, tasteful (even slightly unusual) musical expression.