Now well into his second decade of recording, Bandera, Texas’ Bruce Robison certainly has gained quite a following with his superbly crafted brand of country music. His songs, which have been recorded by the likes of Tim McGraw (Angry All The Time), George Strait (Wrapped), and The Dixie Chicks (Travelin’ Soldier) among others, are distinctive in that the narrative is always from a given point of view and, quite often, the songs tell a story.
With it’s interesting cover, Which instantly showcases Bruce’s personality, “The New World” is the kind of record that you want to live with. It is immediate, personal, and real. There’s nothing ‘fake’ about it. “The Hammer” sets the mood of this, raw, immediate record. “Only” features a down-home, back-porch pickin’ feeling to it that’s just damn fun and I guarantee a smart artist like George Strait will record and make a hit out of it (since Bruce seemingly can’t have hits nationally himself).
“California 85” has a breezy, Neil Young-ish vibe to it while “Larosse” is one of Bruce’s lyrical masterpieces. “The New One” also has a humorous lyric to it and with a sound as if it were comin’ from the cosmic cowboy 1970s, it’s just great. “She Don’t Care” is a song I was familiar with from Ty England’s version which was on his “Highways & Dancehalls” album. Garth Brooks also recorded the song for his “Lost Sessions” album. Still, It’s a great traditional country song that is simple and direct and to the point.
Bruce Robison is one of the artists that musicians love but somehow doesn’t get much notice outside the great state of Texas. “The New World” is a great addition to his stable of fine albums that all have been crafted to near perfection. Perhaps it is better that Bruce Robison isn’t quite a household name because if he was, commerce might have dictated where his art went (chasing hits). Thankfully, he is who he is and I love it.