Rock & Sock Records announced today that they are releasing "Tokyo's Fifth" by their recording artist, Tokyo Rosenthal. Appropriately titled, this is Rosenthal's fifth album on the Rock & Sock label, and number five in only six years. The record includes 9 new original tunes penned by "Toke" and a rare cover of Lennon and McCartney's "Helter Skelter". Also included on the new CD is a video of the album's first single, "What Did I Used To Be?", which went "mini-viral". This is Tokyo's latest release since the critically acclaimed "Who Was That Man?" from 2011. That album made the Top 10 on most Americana Charts.
Tokyo is joined once again by a stellar cast of musicians including himself on lead and rhythm guitar, piano, organ, and vocals. Chris Stamey (dB's) returns on bass, Will Rigby (Steve Earle and dB's) and Logan Matheny on drums, Toke's constant touring partner Charlie Chamberlain on mandolin and lead guitar, John Teer (Chatham County Line) on fiddle, Allyn Love (Pedal Steel), and Matthew Douglas and David DiGiuseppe round out the players on clarinet and accordion respectively. In addition, Tokyo is accompanied on vocals by the amazing talent of Andrea Connolly.
As eclectic as ever, "Tokyo's Fifth" opens with a clarinet lick and continues to demonstrate his versatility in writing and arranging throughout the entire album. As always the subject matter is controversial, political, and personal. Never a stranger to controversy, Toke covers unemployment, suicide, and out sourcing on the album's first single, "What Did I Used To Be?", and the immigration situation in Arizona on "The Immigrant". Tokyo revisits songs dedicated to cities and neighborhoods with "Killaloe" and "Mulberry Place", and euthanasia on "We Put You Down". Rarely recording material by other writers, Rosenthal, along with the screaming violin of Chatham County Line's John Teer, take on "Helter Skelter", in a very creative and unique arrangement of The Beatle's classic. Andrea Connolly's vocal harmonies were born to be on Tokyo's ode to his father, "Waste Of A Heart", the reggae styled, "Smoke and Mirrors", and she will bring a tears to your eyes on her heartfelt duet with Tokyo on "We Put You Down".
"I can't believe it's only been six years since my first record. Seems like we've been doing this forever, and here we are at number five", said Rosenthal. "I certainly couldn't have done it without the support of my wife Carrie Klein and our daughters, Americana radio, my accompanists, especially my touring partner Charlie Chamberlain, my guru Chris Stamey, and the folks who buy my music and come to our shows. I hope this album will make you think, cry, and feel it to be unique, both musically and philosophically. A lot of great players took part in this project in order to deliver my vision of how these songs should be presented to my listeners. I trust we won't disappoint them and any new friends we pick up along the way".
As of this writing, Clare FM Radio in Ireland, will be giving "Killaloe" its radio debut on their station, and Toke has been asked to come there to be honored and perform in concert early in 2013. Rosenthal will begin touring world wide and visiting radio stations to support the "The Fifth" and will announce dates, times, and locations shortly.
The video of "What Did I Used To Be?" was produced and directed by Emmy Award winner Nic Beery from Carrboro, North Carolina. It features not only Tokyo but has classic footage from earlier times contrasting footage of contemporary hardships and situations. The response to the video and the song in the U.S. and abroad has been overwhelming.