Reviews of Summer
“Hrabko’s songs, with the support of a league of dedicated local musicians, are every bit as intricate and well-crafted as his words, and they nearly always just plain swing."
"Hrabko is a performer of finesse and subtlety ... a master of his art."
"Hrabko's got a penchant for mixing old-time-sounding music with 21st century sensibilities. Hrabko's voice is that silky baritone that's as comfortable with lounge music as it is country swing and rockabilly crooners. I think that's my favorite secret of Hrabko's music -- on the surface, it seems wholesome but is in fact something your kids should be a little older to listen to."
"There is simply nothing not to enjoy here, it’s just fun Americana."
Reviews of Biscuits & Gravity
"Thanks to Hrabko’s sly and warm vocals, his band’s typically slinky rhythms and brooding arrangements, and (very important) his use of the recording studio as instrument, he puts his songs over in ways that make us eager to hear them again. Unlike many self-identified singer-songwriters, particularly ones at the local level, Hrabko grasps the distinction between documenting some solid songs and making a good record ... an album destined to go down as one of this year’s finest area releases."
David Cantwell, KCUR
“Hrabko’s rootsy songs are filled with trap doors, hidden nooks, and secret passageways. They’re like those dreams within comfortably familiar houses that suddenly have brand new rooms ... Hrabko’s songwriting starts in traditional country veins and then works outward, with generous splashes of western swing and the blues, and with big doses of Jack Kerouac’s continental wandering and wordplay ... By the time Hrabko hits his stride in a song like “California Got My Baby,” he’s like an Americana Mose Allison, doing intricate things with lyrics and melody that others simply do not try."
Mike Warren, No Depression
Brian Rock, Turnstyled Junkpiled
“‘Ordinary Guy’ a wonderful mood piece featuring some lovely backing vocals , a snake like lead guitar all played over a melancholy paean to life and its pitfalls and joys. Marvelous and suddenly the album has a spring in its step. ‘I dreamed I quit my job’ again features a crisp leading guitar line that drives the narrative along. And it swings! ... A good collection of songs, well delivered. This man is building a strong repertoire.”
Reviews of Gone Places
“Hrabko's debut sounds like a record belonging in rotation between Buck Owens and Willie Nelson. It feels familiar, the way a classic country album would; Part blues, part western swing, Gone Places is an album filled with slide guitar, pedal steel and jangly piano notes. The little moments on Gone Places tend to refer to women lost and found and blues picked up along the way. Hrabko can count Lyle Lovett as a contemporary; he shares a number of vocal and stylistic qualities with the Texas singer. Lyrically, though, Hrabko seems to have taken lessons from John Prine: With folk-taught wisdom, Hrabko is too witty to sound completely heartbroken. On the standout track "Lonely Satellite," Hrabko calls out cheerfully: From a frozen phone booth in Nevada/I can hardly hold the dimes/I dial your number, honey/A little humbler every time.”
“I hope this isn’t going to be a once in a life-time record from the Kansas City native but the start in a career that though late isn’t without promise both in terms of songwriting craft and musically.... Closing piece ”The Woman Upstairs“ containing piano, fiddle, pedal steel, guitar and sweet harmony vocals is steeped in country as he marries 1960s golden era with that of a decade later, as on a number of occasions the listener enjoys some finely crafted work and promise of better things to come....Awash in smartly fashioned insights of life, a little whimsical dreaming and gentle coercing of one’s senses as on a piano supplemented, jazz toned “Fool In The Song” the texture and tone is nicely varied.”
“With a well seasoned baritone voice, these songs pour out of Scott like a vintage, robust, red wine... Scott's wit and insight shine through in every song on this collection. He brings a perspective that can only come from a lifetime of (sometimes painful) observation. His lyrical sketches are effortlessly 'matter-of-fact,' yet so poetic in their phrasing....The music on the album is every bit as expressive as the lyrics. Ranging from Jazz to Blues to Rockabilly to Texas Swing, Gone Places virtually defines the subgenre of Americana that has come to be known as "Porch Music." You put this album on, grab a pitcher of your favorite beverage and sit back on you porch and let the world go by - and maybe even daydream about the gone places in your own memories.”
Scott Hrabko and the Rabbits - Live at the Westport Roots Festival
"Hrabko is gifted songwriter who deserves more exposure. He has a knack for writing clever and trenchant lyrics as well as composing melodic, well-crafted songs. His genre is country, but within its framework, he dabbles in a variety of roots, adding touches of blues, folk and rock. His set also showcased his stellar band, which includes guitar titans Marco Pascolini and Fred Wickham."
Tim Finn - Kansas City Star
Scott Hrabko and the Rabbits - Live at the Crossroads Music Festival
"Kansas City music lovers could not have asked for a more perfect Saturday - prime pickings for a music festival. With blue skies, a cool breeze, mild temperature and light jacket, yesterday's 10th Annual Crossroads Music Festival was off to a suberb start. With sunlight filtering through the Tank Room’s westward windows and lighting up the stage, Scott Hrabko & the Rabbits handily delivered a set of rustic, old-timey country tunes to the warm festival audience. Hrabko finger-picked his acoustic guitar and sang cowboy ballads of travel, love, horses and the end of the world, while his fellow bandmates on bass and accordion provided spot on vocal harmonies.”
April Foster, The Pitch
"Comparisons can be flattering, but like most artists and creators, Hrabko said he only aims to sound like himself, to listen most carefully to that voice, that impulse, that compels him to write and sing."
"Scott Hrabko's music is equal parts folk, swing, blues and country with a twist that's unique to Kansas City. His second album and his first with his backing band The Rabbits, Biscuits & Gravity, was released in early 2015 to great acclaim. Working in a musical vein similar to such luminaries as Loudon Wainwright III, Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett, Hrabko describes in his interview how he learned to "trust my own ears" with his own style. We are fortunate to welcome Scott Hrabko to Listen Local."
"Great art, like black and white photography, uses contrast to affect us. Scott juxtaposes the finger picking style of folks like Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and John Fahey with his own ironic poetry that celebrates the humorous and clever, the old blues with something new, life in the present tense....Scott’s music has a transporting quality to it. It’s like a train ride through some beautiful American valleys and vistas with echoes of Celtic rhythm as a faint heartbeat. It’s a trip to Parchman Farm Prison in Mississippi without the life sentence and roadwork, with words that may have you visualizing a page from American Splendor, reading your modern life in a mirror with the cadence of guitar picking that’s primordial and simply elegant.”
Tom Ryan, KC Star - Crossroads and Currents Blog