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Roses & Cigarettes
Photo Courtesy Roses & Cigarettes

Music Review: Roses & Cigarettes Drop ‘Acoustic Sessions’ EP

Roses & Cigarettes recently dropped their Acoustic Sessions EP, a blend of roots, rock, Americana, country and pop.

Formed in 2013, the duo’s name, Roses & Cigarettes, was borrowed from the title of Ray LaMontagne’s song. Vocalist Jenny Pagliaro was singing with a cover band which auditioned guitarist Angela Petrilli for a position with the band. The musical chemistry between the two was instantaneous, leading to Roses & Cigarettes.

Releasing their debut album in 2015, Roses & Cigarettes was preparing for a promotional tour when Pagliaro was diagnosed with breast cancer. Treatment followed and a year later the cancer returned. This time it was Stage IV. After another round of treatment, the band hit the road. Miraculously, Pagliaro’s health continues to improve.

Along with endorsements from Fender Guitars, Martin Guitars, and D’Addario guitar strings, Roses & Cigarettes has shared the stage with Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters, Jim Lauderdale, Luther Dickinson, Marc Broussard, Elizabeth Cook, The Record Company, Amanda Shires, and a host of other artists.

With six tracks, the EP opens with “Another Way,” a velvety acoustic roots-country tune with a shimmering guitar and Pagliaro’s rich, nasal tones. “Feel The Fire” resonates with darker colors, as layers of guitars strum gently, underscoring Pagliaro’s scrumptious voice. This tune features moments of dazzling vocal harmonies.

“Back To You” rides softer, pale colors, and tender, melancholic tones. A poignant song, passion glows from Pagliaro’s voice. “Echoes and Silence” is one of my personal favorites on the EP because of its coruscating flow and penetrating vocal harmonies. “Shelter” reminds listeners of early Eagles music, merging country flavors and So-Cal soft rock textures into a wonderfully evocative tune.

“Whiskey Down” ramps thing up with its heavy acoustic guitars and potent vocals. The riffs surge and lead into a tight guitar solo, compact with sparkling coloration.

On Acoustic Sessions, Roses & Cigarettes deliver stripped down country alt-rock, pungent with delicate muscularity.

Follow Roses & Cigarettes on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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