© Paul Zarzyski. All rights reserved. These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Collisions of Reckless Love
Rock ‘n’ Rowel
By Paul Zarzyski
Open Path Music, San Jose, 2006, producer
Sit back, lighten up, loosen the reins. Poet Paul Zarzyski has come out with two CDs that are cause for serious reflection.
In “Collisions of Reckless Love” Zarzyski has mellowed his usual fast paced, wild words recitations into a new and softer reading backed by the musical innovations of Open Path Music. The result, if you close your eyes and listen—really listen—is pure poetry at its best.
And if Zarzyski’s more traditional fans don’t like “Collisions,“ they will love “Rock ‘n’ Rowel.” But, back to “Collisions.”
This is a remarkable departure for a poet who has been pigeon-holed as a cowboy poet all these years. Many of the poems are familiar Zarzyski standards, but collected here they become an important comment by an American voice whose fans—until now—haven’t seen him doff his cowboy hat and embrace the true muse within.
His “Shoes” may be the best reading he’s ever made of that work. “Hard Traveling” is a daring departure backed by guitar, electric bass, drums and background vocals reminiscent of a classic Greek chorus. He combines “I Believe” with “Las Ballenas de Bahia Magdalena” and the result is an entirely new poem. “The Day the War Began” is a swaying, lyrical reading beautifully paced by piano accompaniment.
Zarzyski has finally thrown down the gauntlet. Will his legions of fans risk picking it up?
Ray A. March, Editor
Modoc Independent News
Collisions of Reckless Love and Rock ‘n’ Rowel CDs are available at the Western Folklife Center (phone 775-738-7508, ext 2) and at CD Baby.