As if the massive collection of amazing musicians the United Kingdom has given us wasn’t enough, enter Oli Rockberger, whose mellow voice and beautiful piano playing caught me by surprise a few weeks ago at his Rockwood show. From his very first show at Rockwood, Rockberger has come full circle and is back on the very same stage with a significantly longer music rap sheet.
There are great vocalists and there are great pianists, but it’s rare that these two talents combine in one person as perfectly as in Rockberger’s case. From his seat behind Rockwood Music Hall’s piano, Rockberger easily wove together the perfect blend of his smooth, soulful voice; passionate piano playing and brilliant songwriting. Reminiscent of the likes of classic Sting and the more recent works of John Mayer, Rockberger’s music is catchy, identifiable and straight up beautiful.
Perhaps one of the best parts of Rockberger’s show is his obvious passion for what he does. He is not a musician to zone out, display his art and leave the stage. During the entirety of his show, Rockberger continuously engaged his audience in various ways, from calling out special guests to requesting backup from a nearby table. Even for those show-goers who prefer to remain in the shadows, Rockberger’s show is not easily discounted. Rockberger is an entertainer (not a performer) who loves what he does and is clearly enjoying his time on stage.
If all his talent and love for music don’t make Rockberger cool enough, his charming British quirks surely do the job. Every time he included a “itn’t it?” or “bloody hell” in his speech, I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. Not everyone with an English accent can get by in our neurotic city, but Rockberger has the adorable Brit aura going for him.
I could go on all day about all the small ways Oli Rockberger draws and keeps his fans, but the bottom line is that the dude is a great musician. From keys to vocals to lyrics, this one has it all. Though it would be a good decision to take my word for it, it would be a bad one to miss out on hearing him for yourself. Since he’s headed to Switzerland in the next few months, a live performance will be tough to catch, but have a listen to his music here and cop it for yourself on iTunes. Not a purchase you’ll regret.