The fine taste of Rob Szabo
The Woodshed Sessions, Episode 15 features singer-songwriter and producer Rob Szabo. (Our apologies for audio quality in the interview portion. We blame the moose behind the glass, Fred. He’s new.)
Raised in Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and based in Toronto, Szabo is a rock and roll survivor who played in popular KW bands like Groove Daddys, Marigold, and Plasticine before breaking into a solo career in 2002.
Szabo’s recently released eponymous album is his fifth studio recording, and while it is a little unusual to title a CD after oneself so late in the game, it makes perfect sense in this case. Rob Szabo, who also produced the work, has stripped himself bare in this effort; it is a collection of mostly dark songs presented in relative sparseness, an honest record that reflects the rude midlife awakenings that come with changing hair colour and the other joys of aging. Carl Jung would have approved.
Rob Szabo produces records (Peter Katz, Steve Strongman, Ian Sherwood, etc.) the way a great cook assembles a meal, one carefully measured ingredient at a time until it is all in balance, then no more. He has uncanny compositional sense, especially in selecting backing vocalists and finer instrumentation to complement songs. But as you can see in this Brian Crosby film on Szabo’s Kensington Market neighbourhood below, Rob Szabo simply has excellent, discriminating taste.
Full performances of Give It Away and A Side of Me below