Shake! Magazine Fall 2008 issue: Nashville
“I’ve just heard the best album of the year so far. It came totally out of left field for me. Robert Stanley is a local music legend from Waukegan, IL. He is an astute writer, incredibly proficient guitarist, and vocalist extraordinaire.
Recorded in Atlanta, ‘Roadman’s Hammer’ is some of the most melodic, smart ‘Rockabluesic’ (his term) music that has ever crossed this writer’s ears.
This is world class stuff. Every tune is well-crafted, expertly played and sung with a passion that can only come from years of life experience. Hard driving, bluesy rockers and tender, meaningful love ballads permeate a record of unfailing quality from start to finish. Bluesman, rocker, tunesmith, guitar hero; all these terms describe Robert ‘The Roadman’ Stanley.
Simply stated, this is an unforgettable record. Get your copy today. You’ll be glad you did!”
"This is really interesting stuff.
You know if you use that kind of the term, a swampy, I don't know, swamp rock almost, very bluesy, swampy, ha! swamp rock, I don't know.
You'll know when you hear it. I think you'll understand what I'm trying to get at. But this is really cool stuff…it's just really well done."
"Robert went down to the crossroads, kicked the devil's ass and stole his blues."
"Just like to say how much I enjoyed listening to your work. I know how difficult it can be to assimilate and blend together different styles of music, you make it sound effortless. Treasure that open mind."
"Roadman's Hammer is a combination of blues and rock, blended together into an awesome conglomeration of music that needs to be heard, and heard, and heard. You won’t want to take it out of your CD player."
"It's like listening to raw feelings poured into your soul. You must to do yourself a favor and listen to it. This CD blew me away."
“Without a doubt, this is unquestionably the best music purchase I've made all year. What a musician! What an album! I don't know where to begin.
It's not often that an album comes along that I like all the way through. Most times I've got to give it a few spins and let it grow on me. This one sprouted thick, tangled roots and dug in deep immediately. Roadman's Hammer has been in my CD player since I received it 3 weeks ago. I haven't listened to any other music for three weeks, I kid you not.
His instrumental prowess is right up there with the biggest names in the business. The words he's written are sung with passion, power and finesse. His vocals are by turns as gritty and dark as coal smoke, powerful enough to drive a railroad spike and as beautiful and soothing as a far away train whistle. Robert's voice encompasses a full range of emotion and feeling that only comes from years of traveling life's tracks, taking note of the thing's he's seen and experienced along the way, writing about it and singing it like it just happened, still fresh and clear in his mind.
A good album is like a good book: it should paint a vivid picture in the mind of the listener, and for me, it does exactly that. I can't wait for the next album. I'll be the first one at the ticket window for The Roadman's next ride.”
“I recall at least one performance of Robert’s that was more moving than just about anything else I have experienced, ever.”
“Robert has always been an excellent guitar player and his work on Roadman’s Hammer is ‘most excellent’.
His stellar Chicago-blues-based guitar work coupled with vocals that range from whiskey ravaged bluesman to almost child-like make the wide ranging melodies and lyrics come alive. This music reminds me that there was a time when bands strove to sound unique, rather than pre-packaged and formulated.
The songs are powerful and touching, raucous and tender, joyful and moody. Robert delivers at every level on every song from the power-blues-rock ‘Baby’s Like A Train’ and ending with - are those bagpipes on ‘So Many Roads’?
Anyway, this is one special CD and it deserves its own category - ROCKABLUESIC!”
"Great production. I don’t know where to or who to compare it to, but it is Beatle-esque, Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Leslie West, and more all rolled into one. And at times hard to discern which style dominates but is a wonderful amalgam of all of them. Like a musical kaleidoscope of primordial rock ‘n’ roll tones and textures. And all the little subtle nuances and subliminal ear candy incorporated into the mixes for that Beatle-esque nuance. It is all done so tastefully well."
"This album is a wonderful piece of art - written, performed and arranged by Robert Stanley, a multi-talented writer/musician/vocalist who is nothing short of a humble genius. I've read many reviews of the recording, outside of Amazon; deservingly, none are ever par or below. You'll read a lot of comparisons: the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, David Gilmour, ZZ Top, Badfinger - to name a few. I agree that I can perhaps feel the influences of all of the above in Robert's music; however, it's a completely original force of distinctive beauty which stands on its own, and to me, cannot truly justifiably be compared.
There is not a weak point in the album. The delightfully melodic slower, accoustical songs are muscled with fantastic lyrics: "Though time may erase all the stains of the tears/I still have to fight all the shadows and fears" (from "Changes"); or a battlecry to fight against deception (from "I Heard"): "When will we admit that everything they say is wrong?/Each day another shaving of what's right,/'Til some don't even question cuz we've let it go so long,/And some too scared, or lazy for the fight. FIGHT!"
This album is an exciting train ride, and Robert Stanley is an awesome conductor. You'll hear the train impatiently start once you get on, as our conductor steers it in a comfortable steadiness, back-and-forth from eye-opening slows to furiously revolting fast speeds, winding many unsuspecting curves - up over snow crested mountains and down through the flowered green valleys...and just when you think its over - you can't get off quite yet. There's so many roads to choose from (just don't let the door close), as he takes you through a long dark tunnel - but finally, hope: there's light at the tunnel's end and we are guided out into a peacefully bright, beautiful day - and the sound of....bagpipes?
I love this album!"
"You just can’t find a CD with this state of craftsmanship anymore. His guitar playing and voice are extraordinary but coupled with his talents as a wordsmith and his awesome sense of arrangement and well, folks...it just doesn’t get any better."
“Within the first few bars of ‘Rollin' Home’ I was hooked into the cinematic atmosphere of Robert’s work. Then that gorgeous chorus. Very unique and classic all at once.
‘I Heard’ is awesome...caught me right away, love the lyrics: ‘For had they scraped away the thin But well-designed veneer, They'd have seen the shelter Sitting near and true.’ Very passionate vocal performance, kudos!
‘On and On’... oh what a gorgeous buildup in this song, lingering on like a summer memory. Stunning vocals/harmonies. Set the tone for my day.”
"He is a monumental talent, as sophisticated and acrobatic as any British guitar-hero and yet as pure and fun as a Mel Bay student sweating out his first three chords.
His vocals might bring to mind a '20-something' Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel. And if the tools of his musicianship aren’t enough, his songwriting – he uses lyrics and melodies like a master painter uses brush-and-palette, or a surgeon uses a scalpel."