"Cleveland hasn't had a male/female vocalist rock record pairing as enjoyable as this in a long time." -Matt Wardlaw, CoolCleveland.com Getting signed as the first rock act to Boston's Slanted House dance-techno label really took Rob Duskey-a solo-acoustic singer-songwriter by trade-by surprise. In fact, just convincing him to transpose his coffee house capabilities to the main stage took something of an intervention by family and friends. A disciple of the "songs come first" mantra, Rob is marking this transformation with Slanted's May 2009 release of his first full-length album, Cautiously Optimistic, a straightforward cross-section of Rob's introspective, hook-heavy songwriting and an instant showcase for the happenstance assembly of his seasoned backing ensemble, The Rounders. Produced by Vuture Visions' Billy DeMarco (Mary Cushman, The Vibronics), Cautiously has been lauded as "a flat out, a good time rock and roll tale of many loves found and many loves lost" (CoolCleveland.com). To be clear, these cats are no brooding hipsters: thanks to a zero-pretense coupling of classic rock instrumentation and a liberal application of co-ed vocals (jazz/cabaret singer Jodi Dobos), the band has drawn frequent comparisons to Rusted Root, Counting Crows, and Ben Harper. Cautiously is admittedly something of an experiment for Slanted House, an established Boston-based dance label dipping a first entrepreneurial toe into the rock and roll pool. But the effort has already had some perks: Slanted DJ-producer D-Lav aka David Laven (RISE Boston, Sirius-XM Radio Channel 38's "Invasion" Guest DJ) is slated to release a progressive house remix of Cautiously alt-country track "The Negatives" in early June 2009. "To tell you the truth, I'm just a fan," Duskey reflects. "The records I listened to growing up have stayed with me forever. They have been the most consistent thing in my life. It's something of a curse I have come to embrace."