CD Review

BryanClark, "Work Songsof Love", Rainfeather Music, Los Angeles, CA

Bryan Clark's CD, "Work Songs of Love" remindsme of a giant jig-saw puzzle - pieces of different sizes &shapes, with different colors & textures, that all fit togetherseamlessly into a big musical picture. "Work Songs of Love"is the canvas on which Bryan demonstrates his considerable musicaltalents.

Bryan likes to call this his "Singer-Songwriter"CD, though it is much more than that. This isn't one guy playinga guitar & singing. "Work Songs" is fully instrumented,&, on 7 of the 9 tracks, Bryan plays everything; guitars,dobro, bass, piano/heyboards, percussion & drum programming.Oh yeah, he wrote 7 of the 9 songs also!

This is a very cerebral CD whose thoughtful & introspectivelyrics thoroughly engage the listener. What really knocked meout was Bryan's guitar & dobro playing. Jazz phrasings, bluegrassflatpicking, rhythm guitar playing - Bryan does it all with agrace & fluidity that is pure poetry.

Stylistically, the majority of "Work Songs" areon the soft-side, so your ears can concentrate on the musicanship,particularly the multi-faceted guitar work. The highlights ofthe CD, for me, was the bluegrass version of Van Halen's "RunningWith the Devil" & Bryan's rendition of Steve Earle's"Carrie Brown". The two tracks featured the banjo &mandolin work of Loren "L-Train" Ellis & the bass& background vocals of Ben "Benwell" Levine, whoare the other two members of "Honeywagon".

If you haven't heard of "Honeywagon" by now, Iwill wager that you will be hearing about them shortly. Theirsoon to be released CD, "Grass Stains - a Bluegrass Tributeto Blink182" has received rave reviews from GuitarNation.com& from other well-respected reviewers.

"Work Songs of Love" is a CD that draws the listenterin on an intellectual level. For those of you who demand morefrom your music than a "1-4-5 progression" or more thanyour basic 3-minute song, this CD is for you; for solo artistswho want to see what one highly talented, creative musician cando, this CD is a must have!

 

Rating: Excellent

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            Good

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            Excellent