Rudy Romero

Band members                             Related acts

- Rudy Romero (RIP 1982) -- vocals, guitar


  supporting musicians:

- Joe DeAguero -- vibes, backing vocals

- Bryan Garofalo -- bass

- Lee Keifer -- percussion, backing vocals

- Warren Pemerton -- drums

- Peggy Sandvig -- keyboards

- Ralph Schuckett -- keyboards

- John Ussery -- lead guitar




- The Hard Times

- The New Phoenix





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  To the World

Company: Tumbleweed

Catalog: TWS 108

Country/State: San Diego, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold gimmick sleeve; white vinyl

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6272

Price: $50.00


What little attention this album seems to get stems from George Harrison's supposed appearance on four of tracks (the performance credits don't list Harrison).  If true, that's not a bad claim to fame, but the album actually has much more going for it.


Rudy Romeo's initial claim to fame came as a member of San Diego's The Hard Times.  When that band and a one-shot follow-up The New Phoenix called it quits Romero struck out in pursuit of a solo career and in the early 1970s was signed to the Colorado-based Tumbleweed imprint.  Produced by former Hard Times singer Lee Keifer, 1973's "To the World" found Romero working with an impressive list of musicians.  In addition to the supposed Harrison appearance, the line up included Clear Light keyboardist Ralph Schuckett, Things To Come bassist Bryan Garofalo, and former Undertakers drummer Warren Pemerton.  To my ears Romero had a highly commercial voice that was well suited to the pop and softer rock materials he wrote.  In fact most of the ten Romero-penned tracks had at least some degree of commercial potential, with 'If I Had the Time' and '' being two of the two highlights.  So back to Harrison for a moment: if you believe the story he played on four tracks -  ‘Lovely Lady,' ‘Nothin' Gonna Get You Down,' ‘Doing The Right Thing,' and ‘If I Had Time'.  To be honest about it, I've got my doubts, due in part to the fact Harrison's mid-1970s playing style with a heavy emphasis on slide guitar was very unique and easy to spot.  With the exception of the title track, none of the guitar work on the collection reminded me of that style.  Who knows ...  In an interview with Patrick 'The Lama' Lundborg, fellow Tumbleweed artist Robb Kunkle was clear in saying Harrison played on the album.   


Tumbleweed clearly spent a lot of money recording the album, but apparently did absolutely nothing to promote the set which became instantly obscure. 


"To the World" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) If I Had the Time    (Rudy Romero) - 3:24    rating: **** stars

To my ears 'If I Had the Time' was the album's most radio friendly number.  Great melody; great lead guitar (almost certainly not Harrison), and great harmony vocals (almost certainly not Harrison).   One of my favorite performances, Tumbleweed tapped it as a promotion single:





- 1972's 'If I Had the Time' (mono) b/w 'If  Had the Time' (stereo) (Timberweed catalog number TWA-1006)







2.) Lovely Lady    (Rudy Romero) - 2:42  rating: ** stars

'Lovely Lady' was a pretty, country-tinged ballad that didn't make a great deal of an impression on me.  Supposedly another track with Harrison's participation, I couldn't spot anything that sounded even remotely like the man.   

3.) Nothin' Gonna Get You Down    (Rudy Romero) - 4:01   rating; *** stars

Ah, nice to hear a slice of bouncy slice of positive thinking ... It may sound a tab old fashioned, but 'Nothin' Gonna Get You Down' was actually a lot of fun with another nice melody and some first-rate lead guitar.  The chirpy female backing singers (Venetta Fields and Clydie King) were a bit on the irritating side.   

4.) Love Games (When It Wants To Anyway)    (Rudy Romero) - 4:41  rating: ** stars

A heavily orchestrated ballad, 'Love Games (When It Wants To Anyway)' was a bit on the MOR side, but had a nice melody and some nice guitar.   rating: ** stars5.) You Used To Be So Light    (Rudy Romero) - 4:35   rating; *** stars

A pleasant country-rocker with a mildly funny lyric, 'You Used To Be So Light' reminded me a bit of something out of the Loggins and Messina catalog.   Nice guitar ...   


(side 2)
1.) Doing the Right Thing    (Rudy Romero) - 4:14   rating; *** stars

A chunky, horn-propelled mid-tempo rocker, 'Doing the Right Thing' had a catchy melody that showcased Romero's voice and some nice lead guitar.  Supposedly one of the Harrison tracks, if I had to bet I'd suggest John Ussery provided the guitar.   

2.) Anyway We Can    (Rudy Romero) - 4:36    rating: **** stars

Pretty acoustic ballads are a dime a dozen and I've heard so many of them over the years they seldom make much of an impression on me.  Romero's 'Anyway We Can' was one of the rare exceptions.  A stripped down and musically simple composition, the song was simply mesmerizing.  Don't ask me to explain why 'cause I simply can't explain the song's charms.    

3.) Simple Things    (Rudy Romero) - 2:51    rating: **** stars

Another pretty ballad, 'Simple Things' was almost as good as 'Anyway We Can'.  A bit more heavily orchestrated, this one was also a touch more MOR, though that really didn't detract from the performance.   

4.) Level Out    (Rudy Romero) - 3:40  rating: ** stars

To be honest, 'Level Out' was kind of an aural mess, halfheartedly straddling a number of genres including boogie, country, folk, and rock.  Other than the jazzy guitar, this one simply never caught my ear.

5.) To the World    (Rudy Romero) - 5:03   rating; *** stars

The album's big production number, 'To the World' was one of the few songs where I detected anything sounding even remotely like George Harrison - namely a bit of slide guitar.  Regardless of whether he played on the track or not, the song was quite good which probably explains why it was tapped as the album's second promotional single.    





- 1973's 'To the World' b/w '???' (Tumbleweed catalog number 1012)





Sadly Romero died in a 1982 car accident.