"ONE FOR THE ROAD: A sublime voice, reminiscent of Patti Smith, meets mad chemist and multi-instrumentalist. She composes and sings; he brings it together and makes it fly. The result is a unique sound born for success.
I met them under the softened lights of a local Thai restaurant. There is Theresa Rhodes, the songwriter, singer and guitarist of the group, with a beautiful smile and warm welcoming words. Peter Greenwood, rhythm guitarist, is already sitting and it appears he is in a slight rush. As director of Fax culture on the TSR (Swiss TV channel), he needed to be in a meeting within the hour. And lastly Kiet Nguyen arrives, the Vietnamese musical wizard, with dark round glasses he keeps on throughout the meal and a cool, laid back, almost silent demeanour. A band made of superstars; they have collaborated since the start with the big names of the music industry.
The heart of the band, Theresa, made her name when she sung, recorded and toured her first single 'Save Tomorrow' with Jermaine Jackson. Written in 1994 to raise awareness on the conflict in former Yugoslavia, she sung it on Women's day in front of a large audience at the United Nations. Heard and appreciated by Jermaine, the song was then produced by Matt Clifford, who previously worked with Mick Jagger and toured with the Rolling Stones. After two weeks of touring Germany with the famous Mr Jackson, the single reached position 8 in the Radio Berlin charts. Encouraged by Jermaine to record the rest of her material, Theresa decided to form One for the Road with Kiet upon her return to Geneva. Mixing Theresa's influences from India and Africa, where she grew up, with Kiet's oriental origins and American musical culture, they produced a rich amalgam between Delta blues, country and pop. With the skills of accordionist Laurent Sonnerat, Claude Currat on bass, Peter Greenwood on guitar, Michèle Ortiz Suter on vocals and a duo of percussionists, Thierry Hochstätter and Etienne Brachet, One for the Road is a truly well rounded band. Since, they have recorded two albums, An Acoustic Affair (1997), and Stealing the Show (2000) as well as a live album, Live at le Chat Noir (2001). All received ecstatic reviews and high public acclaim. (Kira Posewitz for GEM, Geneva English Magazine)
"THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES: "Stealing the Show" by One For The Road
Stunning music soaked in rock - ranging from country, blues and pop via Africa and the Caribbean - fired by the spellbinding voice of the English singer, Theresa Rhodes, the electric virtuosity of Vietamese guitarist, Kiet Nguyen, and the moving accordion of Laurent Sonnerat. Rarely has such rich variety been interpreted with such ease and subtlety. (Distributed by Disques Office). ****" (Translated from an article in Schweizer Familie)
"Thanks to the crystal voice of Theresa Rhodes, the music of ONE FOR THE ROAD is up there with the angels. Way above the thunder and electric storms, she flies from star to star on the back of subtle, catchy melodies. Born out of the meeting of an English singer brought up in Zimbabwe and a Vietnamese guitarist, the sound of One for the Road transcends frontiers. The band's acoustic rock blends Oriental influences with those of the Far West, country, calypso and reggae. The notes flow like pearls from the guitar of Kiet Nguyen - and his fellow band members are not to be outdone in the musical jewellers' art." (Translated from an article by Lionel Chiuch - Tribune de Genève)
RECOMMENDED: "An Acoustic Affair". It's crazy to think how little we, in France, know about Switzerland! When we think of our neighbours across the border we acknowledge the quality of their clocks and watches, the security of their banks, the taste of their chocolate and, sometimes, the music of Stephan Eicher. Then, all of a sudden, One For The Road arrives on the scene, a group which seems to draw its inspiration more from the atmosphere of motels and roadhouses than from Alpine yodels. And yet the accordion of Laurent Sonnerat features prominently in their pop-rock repertoire. At times, the vocal magic of singer Theresa Rhodes is reminiscent of Patti Smith (Come To Think Of It) or Laurie Anderson (Clone Your Favorite Lovers). Kiet Nguyen's acoustic guitars form the rhythmic backbone on themes ranging from Africa (Amai Africa) to tales of tempestuous love (Island Lady). Proof again, if any were needed, that the accordion can rock!" (Translated from an article by Frederic Garat - Accordéon Magazine)
"THE FESTIVAL CARIBANA 98 FEATURING DOCTOR JOHN, TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, DIANA KING, ONE FOR THE ROAD, ETC. The line-up in Crans attracted some 10,000 music fans willing to brave the wet weather. While DIANA KING was disappointing, ONE FOR THE ROAD showed how to captivate the crowd.
Excellent surprises in the programme: This resounding public success crowned a programme which, if not particularly innovative, nevertheless had the merit of offering a good few surprises. Among the pleasanter ones, the performance of Swiss bands such as Core or Glen of Guinness stood out. ONE FOR THE ROAD, in particular, served up an excellent blend of rock and country." (Translated from an article by Pierre Smets - Tribune de Genève)
"ONE FOR THE ROAD AT THE "CHAT NOIR": Revelling in the company of the fine band brought together to produce the excellent An Acoustic Affair, Kiet Nguyen continues his quest for pure, uncompromising sound. The album, which is released today, provides vivid testimony throughout a set which ranges from sultry country rock via spicy reggae and acoustic ballads of stunning clarity - all unfailingly held together by the superb voice of Theresa Rhodes and a production which brings out the quality of each instrument. Additional touches are provided by the impressive guest musicians (Vincent Courtois, Philippe Massey, Roger Melt, etc.). ONE FOR THE ROAD carry the same precision to their live sets, which are characterised by rigorous, almost studious, attention to detail - with each note counting towards the attainment of the band's perfectionist ideal. Happily, this does nothing to detract from the genuine emotion that exudes from each performance (until Saturday 30th, at 22.30 hrs, at the Chat Noir, 13 rue Vautier, Carouge). (Ich - Tribune de Genève)".