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R.W. Roldan

The Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, who pegs his raw, organic hybrid vibe “Americana roots rock/alt country” – even if that’s just a hint of his multi-faceted stylistic palette – had been recording under various band monikers since emerging with his debut album In California Country in 2006. After years leading the popular ensembles Swing Samurai and Broke Fence and recording under those names, Roldan, flush with a fresh burst of intense inspiration, is releasing his first album ever under his own name. Teaming with engineer/producer Max Allyn of The Outpost in Topanga, CA, Roldan with these 13 new soulful and heartfelt tracks invites longtime fans and newcomers alike into the deeply emotional experience with the titular question, Can You Feel This..

His dad was a biker/car mechanic/street racer who originally met Roldan’s mother in front of Hollywood High in the early 50s, sweeping her away in a lowered black Cadillac. Roldan grew up listening to Elvis, Hank Williams, Rick Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones and has fond memories of his grandfather, a drummer, telling him stories and playing Jim Croce and James Taylor for him. Determined to overcome his hardscrabble roots and provide for his own family, Roldan set music aside for years as he successfully pursued mainstream careers as an auto mechanic and a tool and die designer in the aerospace industry (working on the Space Shuttle and B-1 Bomber) before launching his own construction business.

When he finally set his mind to making music, Roldan quickly made up for lost time, recording with famed musicians like Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), John J.T. Thomas (Bruce
Hornsby), Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Rosie Perez), Bruce Watson (Rod Stewart), Chuck Kavoorus, and Brad Cobb (Tori Amos), David Chamberlain (Roy Buchanan, Manhattan Transfer). Ray”s band also included Mark Hayes (lead guitar) and Luke Hayes (drums). His two Swing Samurai
albums received extensive airplay throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia, and songs from those were featured on compilations with greats like Tim McGraw, Billy Yates and The Bellamy Brothers. In addition, Roldan’s tunes have been top finalists in numerous Song of the
Year competitions and in 2007, he won “Top 25 songs CD” for IndieMusic.com. The following year, he scored eleven finalist nominations for “Man of Steel” through the FameGame Effigy Awards.

“On those earlier projects, I was grateful to work with so many incredible musicians and producers, but Can You Feel This takes my songwriting and overall artistry to a whole new level,” says Roldan. “I love the vibe that is behind the work Max and I have done, just as I am so appreciative of the fact that I have found someone like Lauryn who can help me tell these stories.

I feel like people these days need this kind of authenticity in their music. I really believe that the true spirituality of this world flows through art, whether music, painting or sculpture, and there are a lot of things that need to be said. So many people in life are closed off to so much and don’t
even realize it. For me, music is the most powerful way to pull back those curtains that sometimes make us feel we are alone in the universe.”