Review ·

Brosseau is one of those rare artists who transcends time. His music at
once sounds totally current and as if it were recorded decades ago. His
acoustic guitar is clean and true, and his voice is pitched between
masculine and feminine -- not quite androgynous or ambiguous, but full
of emotional cracks and soaring clarity. He could be singing in a
speakeasy or at a juke joint or on a slow-rolling freight train or on
that proverbial corner of the dusty crossroads where Robert Johnson
sold his soul. Not to imply that Brosseau, too, may have struck a pact
with Satan in exchange for musical prowess, but the muses seem to be
smiling down on him.



Originally released in 2001 and known as The Blue Record, this reissue is remastered by Gregory Page
and comes with five extra tracks. (The first bonus track, "I Live With
Other People in Mind," is a story in a song, with a chilling melody
line that digs its fingers into your heart.) Brosseau has a work ethic
as pure as his voice. He sold the now out-of-print original issue at
mom-and-pop record shops and at his frequent live performances. He's
played countless intimate performances at little record shops as well
as proper venues, and the live version included here of "The Young and
the Free," recorded for L.A. radio station KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic,
is a testament to his charming onstage demeanor. The word "lovely"
springs to mind as quickly as "timeless" does in describing Brosseau.


influences range from yodeling hillbilly Jimmie Rodgers to Jeff
Buckley's throat-singing heights to '60s folk luminaries Woody Guthrie,
Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. Brosseau is a rare find these days: a singer
who is immediately accessible and engaging yet not tainted by
overproduction or hype or scene politics. He writes and performs songs
that stay with you, songs that smack of the experience of an old soul
who's seen it all and isn't afraid to tell us what he's learned. He
"tuned his guitar to the hum of the train," and we are invited along to
waltz with him on his travels.


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