Makers is Rocky Votolato's fourth album, appearing fittingly in line after 2003's Suicide Medicine, but with a worn resilience all its own. It finds Votolato sounding older and weathered, more content than jaded, and there's a modest quality to his steady voice that projects words as both sincere and comforting. Some songs are country-tinged -- with touches of harmonica, pedal steel, violin, and piano supporting the focal acoustic guitar -- but it's more that they simply evoke images of rural dirt roads, long walks and quiet autumn nights at home by the fireplace than anything completely Southern-fried. Genuinely charming, Votolato retains that gentle roughness in his performance, which matches up to the everyday guy kind of vibe running throughout the mostly relaxed set. He can pack quite a bit of emotion into just the slightest of inflections; "White Daisy Passing" showcases this straightaway with its warm vocal harmonies, while the tender mosey of the title track tears into listeners with its soft ruminations of death. Makers is a record tied to home, the imagery of songs like "Streetlights" and "The Night's Disguise" seemingly snapshots from one's own memory. Fans of Votolato's past work will fall for Makers in no time at all. And since the record has enough of those small moments -- the touching ones that might take a few rounds to completely sink in -- there's enough to not only keep them coming back for more, but to also leave behind a feeling as warm as a drink of its whiskey namesake.
AllMusic Review by Corey Apar