R.X. “Bob” Bertoldi’s latest single is a dynamic, unvarnished and largely solo acoustic effort. The fresh track reads and sounds like a heartfelt, wistful acknowledgement of the protagonist’s inability to properly grieve the early loss of his father, and the years of flawed thinking and poor decision making that followed. The self-isolation, delusions, and pleasure seeking to numb the pain referenced in the lyrics only appear to have compounded his initial woes.
Whether the protagonist's plight is entirely autobiographical or not, Bob himself seems to have woken up on the right side of songwriting and making music. He capably handles nearly all the instruments on “Sleepwalking”, including the guitars, vocals, drums and percussion. Only the bass was recorded at a distance by Seattle maestro Keith Lowe, and his notes lock perfectly in step with Bertoldi's basic but full-bodied drumming to give a solid foundation to the sound and story of this confessional stroll. It was all well mixed by Johnny Sangster, acclaimed Seattle guitarist (Case/Lang/Veirs, Neko Case, Tripwires), and Crackle & Pop Studio co-owner / producer (Mudhoney, The Posies and more).
Although a slower tempo ballad, “Sleepwalking” is anything but a sleeper. The tune traces a fine ruminating line between past sorrow and present gratitude. The music and lyrics show that R.X. Bertoldi continues to vigorously follow his muse, despite some unfavorable conditions and the unsettling times of Covid-19. Americana listeners are sure to appreciate “Sleepwalking” for its fine blend of reflective lyrics, organic instrumentation and heartfelt delivery.