Tokyo Rosenthal will be making his second Sundilla appearance on Friday, November 4. Advance tickets are just $12 and can be found at Spicer’s Music and Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. Free coffee, tea and food will be available, and attendees are welcome to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.
That this is not Rosenthal’s first visit to Sundilla will become obvious as soon as he plays “Shreveport,” from his latest album. The lyrics are no accident:
“Auburn gave us some reserve,
The best stop on the tour.
A Wildman, a church, a floor,
My back gave out in Shreveport.”
There are overnight sensations, and then there are artists like Tokyo Rosenthal, who keep on plugging for years and decades, waiting for that break that sometimes never comes. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Rosenthal. After a couple of decades in the business, he released the album “One Score and Ten;” a song from that release, “Edmonton,” led to Rosenthal receiving the key to the city of Edmonton as an award for cultural and artistic contributions to Alberta’s capitol city. This also led to a month long tour of Canada sponsored by West Jet Airlines, TV and Radio appearances, and an opening slot for several nights in Toronto for Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and former Byrd and Burrito Brother, Chris Hillman. Toke was personally picked by Chris to share the bill.
Once the ball was rolling, there was no stopping it. He went on to open for the likes of America and Stephen Stills, in addition to headlining shows. His recent festival work includes SXSW, The Edmonton Fringe Festival, The Carrboro Music Festival, Tyler’s Americana Festival, and the World Music United Festival.
While content to let the critics compare his style to others, Tokyo doesn’t hesitate to point out his influences, who include The Band, The Byrds, The Indigo Girls, Gene Clark, Emmylou Harris, and believe it or not Janis Joplin.
In a career that started with the country rock boom, Rosenthal has honed his craft and “Rootsy/ Americana with a little blues thrown in” sound to perfection. His move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina allowed him to team up with the famed producer and recording star Chris Stamey in the studio. But prior to that Rosenthal made his reputation while living in Rhode Island, New York, and Los Angeles. He headed such groups as the legendary Harpo and Slapshot and Treo Gato as well as his solo endeavors. This has helped him receive radio airplay in the U.S. and Canada, and radio stations in the UK and Europe are spinning Tokyo as well.
In 2008 Rosenthal released a new CD entitled “Love Won Out” that featured the single “St. Patrick’s Day”, to critical acclaim. This CD broke Tokyo into the Americana charts. In August of that same year he toured Japan and debuted in The Netherlands in October. That November Toke was back in New York City followed by Woodstock and Boston and then made a “Heartland” tour from North Carolina to Texas and back, headlining along the way at the World Music United Festival in San Marcos.
He began 2009 with the release of the timely and moving single, “Mister Tell Me ‘Bout The Great Depression”. Then he returned to Holland and Scotland for two weeks in February for a radio concert tour. This was followed by Germany in the spring and another tour of the UK in the fall. And of course he played all over North Carolina while recording his next album, “Ghosts”, that was released in January 2010. “Ghosts”, reached #5 on the Euro Americana Chart and the critical acclaim and US airplay was overwhelming. “Toke” then once again toured the Northeast U.S. with the highlight being his headlining at the world famous Bitter End in New York City. Toke then completed “UK Tour IV” and extensively toured the US for the balance of 2010.
He began 2011 with a West Coast tour including his first live gig in Los Angeles in over ten years. That was followed by SXSW in Austin, along with other Texas dates. But the much anticipated release of his fourth studio album, “Who Was That Man?” happened on May 1st. Joined once again by Chris Stamey on bass and production, Tokyo’s new tunes grabbed Americana fans the world over as it reached # 5 on both the FAR Chart and the Alternate Roots Chart as well as #8 on the Euro Americana Chart. Finally he toured the UK for the fifth time for 15 nights followed by the Midwest for 10 days in the Fall of 2011.
2012 was busy both on the touring front and recording. Tokyo headlined at The Bitter End for the third time while extensively performing all over the East Coast including The Avalon Theater in Easton, Maryland. He also returned to Austin, Texas to perform at SXSW and was web cast live from Threadgill’s on Music Fog. But the highlight of the year was his Ireland tour where Toke covered the land from County Clare up to Belfast getting rave reviews everywhere he gigged.
He returned to the studio to record “Tokyo’s Fifth” in late 2012.. The early released single and video, “What Did I Used to Be?” went “mini-viral” as Toke once again took on sensitive political and social topics. “Tokyo’s Fifth” was released in January of 2013. Toke was joined on the record by Chris Stamey, John Teer, Charlie Chamberlain, Allyn Love, and Andrea Connolly, among others. The album hit #4 on the Euro Americana Chart, and the single, “What Did I Used to Be? hit #9 on the “I Am Entertainment Chart”. Finally “Mulberry Place”, from the same record, hit #1 on the Sing Rush chart.
Toke also received an honor in Ireland for his composition and recording of “Killaloe” in May of 2013.
In 2014 Toke began hosting his own weekly syndicated radio show, “The Tokyo Rosenthal Program, as a prelude to the newly released, “Afterlife”, Toke’s 6th studio album. It’s that album that contains “Shreveport,” where Rosenthal puts to song what so many performers already know: “Auburn… the best stop on the tour.”
Add it all up and you get a lot of tours, a bevy of chart appearances, and a long list of accolades. And a can’t-miss concert from a seasoned entertainer who already knows what to expect: an audience that will make Sundilla the best stop on this tour.
So come be part of the best; come to Sundilla on Friday, November 4, and experience Tokyo Rosenthal in concert. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30, and advance tickets are just $12 and are available at Spicer’s Music, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundilla music.com. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available, and the audience is invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.