‘The Salesman and the Shark,’ is a creative tour de force showcasing Rowe’s gifted writing and absolutely astonishing voice. It was recorded live at historic Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles using only real instruments. It was produced by Woody Jackson utilizing the very same mixing board used to make timeless classics such as The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street, T-Rex’s Electric Warrior, The Beach Boy’s Smile and seminal works by Tom Waits, Neil Young and more.
The song “Downwind” successfully employs surf music to further its ends. In terms of production there are a few songs here that rely too much on Tom Waits (“Joe’s Cult”) and Leonard Cohen (“The Lonely Maze”). That said, they don’t feel like missteps because Rowe actually possesses the chops to deliver the songs, which are strong regardless. The Salesman and the Shark is head and shoulders above the work of most of Rowe‘s peers, and he possesses a strong identity as a songwriter, even if he doesn’t feel confident completely relying on it yet.