Roots Run Deep by Zabocus – review by Robert Craven

Steve Bonino and Ted Zahn, who make up Zbocus, tear up the rule book with their latest album; Roots run deep. The project is a planned trilogy, an aural John Updike and Don DeLilo with a cast of characters who evolve through the tracks, performing the collapse of a small American town and the effect on their daily lives. Roots run deep is the first ten-track album of the trilogy. 

The cast of this project are

 Steve Bonino: Chester, Bob, / Ted Zahn: Uncle Jake, John, / Laura Green: Mary, backup vocals / Brandi Smith: Mary (Home).

 This album’s roots are more than progressive rock, folk – but a broad pallet of sound, harmonies and the assured, polished and honed songwriting skills of Bonino and Zahn. Characters are invested in, they are believable and clearly defined. Zahn’s voice, a mid-western growl has shades of Burl Ives, Johnny Cash and Tex Ritter. Bonino’s’ higher register complements it equally – particularly on the track ‘This is the day’. Brandi Smith and Laura Green offer a greater depth and expression through the album.

 This album challenges you to mine deep into it, as the title suggests, the roots run deep not only in the concept, but of the collective skills of the performers involved. 

Not just an album, but a darker underside of the Norman Rockwell dream….


…. recommended.