Clear and Cold Review in The Oklahoman

Published: Fri, July 19, 2013 12:00 AM


Radoslav Lorkovic ‘Clear and Cold’ (self-released)

Okemah favorite Radoslav Lorkovic demonstrates his mastery of the ivories as well as the pen with the newly remastered and rereleased version of his 1990 album “Clear and Cold.”

A regular at the Okfuskee County hamlet’s Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Lorkovic, 54, shifts with effortless grace from the blues to folk to jazz and back again with his previously out-of-print debut.

Although the Croatian-born singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist also is known for his skill on the accordion, “Clear and Cold” showcases his classical training and fleet-fingered prowess on piano, particularly on several instrumentals ranging from the boogie-woogie ditty “Doin’ It” to the achingly lovely “Wide Open.”

Lorkovic, whose paternal grandmother was an internationally acclaimed classical pianist, layers in the appropriate Tex-Mex flavor to his heartbreaker “Mexican Cafe,” practically channels the angels on his rendition of the Aretha Franklin gospel-inspired soul standard “Do Right Woman,” and transports listeners back to a smoky 1920s jazz club with the melancholy love song “Allegra.”

Although his voice has weathered as beautifully as fine leather over the years, the Chicago-based musician sounds rich and expressive on the laid-back blues number “Trouble Goodbye” and the delicate piano ballad “In the Dark With You.”

Lorkovic, who grew up primarily in Iowa City, Iowa, penned eight of the 13 tracks, including the Americana ode “Roll on Through,” a vivid but understated anthem about rambling, dreaming and overcoming that Woody Guthrie himself could probably appreciate.

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