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Return of the Rocker
Gary Hizer, Urban Tulsa Weekly
Oct. 11, 2006

Anybody who’s been plugged into Tulsa’s local music scene for very long knows our old friend Tony Romanello. He’s been out of the rader lately while attending grad school down in Waco, (ugh) Texas.

We did get a “hit and run” weekend of rock’n’roll in May when Romanello returned to play Mercury Lounge and Mayfest before disappearing again over the summer for some overseas studies.

Even if he’d just mined his back catalogue and played some old favorites the audiences would have been happy, but Tony’s never one rest on past accomplishments. Instead, he showed up with a new six-song EP, Rock ‘n Roll Fairytales, in hand.

Whereas Tony’s last record, the band-oriented TRB disc, was a slick, highly produced affair, Fairytales stripped away the gloss to rock with the reckless abandon of a garage band. It also marked a return to Tony’s solo voice and indie-rock aesthetic, making it a disc that fans of Mumbleodd or even the Shades of Grey EP should love.

After another extended quiet period, Tony returns for a show this Friday night, October 13, at [CHANGE OF VENUE: MERCURY LOUNGE]. Romanello’s old partner in crime, Andy Callis, will be there on guitar and Tony has also recruited drummer Mike Friedmann and bassist Mike Taylor for the weekend, so they can rumble through a selection of songs from throughout Romanello’s career.

When I caught up with Tony recently he admitted that he’d like to be able to get back to play more often; personal schedules and geography haven’t been cooperative. But Tony will actually be back again in a couple of weeks for Freaker’s Ball at the Cain’s Ballroom on Oct. 28. More information on the annual Halloween bash is forthcoming, but Romanello will be pulling double duty this year, performing with his solo band as well as being part of the annual Team Galaxy gathering with Davit Souders and his host of crazies…

And lest you think all Tony has been doing is studying, he’s also been busy compiling tracks for Lo-Fi Dreams in Stereo: Volume 2, another disc of rarities from the Romanello vault. Volume 1 came out back in 2000 and contained previously unreleased songs, alternate takes and demos recorded between 1996 and 2000.

The new disc will feature recordings from 2000 through the present. As Tony explained it, “I’m always writing and recording in some form or another, and I end up with extra songs lying around. This gives me an avenue to get some of that material out that didn’t fit on another record…”

We might see Volume 2 arrive just in time for the Freaker’s Ball gig at the end of the month.

Adam Lopez, who was mentioned last week, will be on the bill as well, so it will be a full night of rock’n’roll and cover is only $5.

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