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CD REVIEW: Russ Rentler - Scarecrow’s Lament
By Jane Eamon - 05/11/2006 - 11:42 AM EDT

Artist: Russ Rentler
Album: Scarecrow’s Lament
CD Review: Russ Rentler has some amazing credentials. In his college days he played in a “legendary band called the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band” with John Gorka and Rich Shindell. Incredible.

Scarecrow’s Lament, Rentler’s second CD, is full of old timey music with LOTS of instruments. And Rentler plays them all. He would be a fabulous person to have in your band. I loved Crossing the Tiber. Moravian Street had a different rhythm and offered a neat twist on the CD. I loved the instrumentals. Rentler is an extremely accomplished musician.

Songwriting? He writes about “misanthropic scarecrows, impaired physicians and a reluctant Pontiff.” Interesting subject matter but not always successful. Someone once said to me about writing…what’s the point, why should I care? Good advice.

You can forgive Rentler a lot though because his musicianship is stellar. But I must admit I wasn’t really drawn to his writing. There was a lot of sing-songing type rhyming which after a few listens was annoying…. putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle.

There is a Patrick Sky quality about this CD. The myriad instruments were cool. I wish the songwriting was as strong. It would have made an even bigger impression.

His website is

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