Fans of The Rockford Mules may be thrown off at first by frontman Erik Tasa’s newest solo record Ballad Of A Winter Beard. For one, Tasa hasn’t revisited this acoustic, one-man sound in the capacity of an official record since before the founding of the Mules. Secondly, the bombastic rock anthems are nowhere to be found.
Tasa instead flourishes under his own direction without the need to over-embellish. Each track on the album manages to hook a unique identifier, a tough thing to accomplish when you are so quickly relegated to the singer-songwriter genre. It’s a style of music which has garnered more of a bad rap than good in recent years, something Tasa notes during his interview with David Campbell for this weekend’s installment of The Local Show. Even more difficult is balancing guitar work with exposed words that could fall flat. Instead, this collection of songs drifts by as an ode to the genre, family, and love.