Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One of his best... Brandon Jenkins... almost turns "words into wine" with this record!

CD Review: Brandon Jenkins "Brothers of the Dirt"

 Published: October 23, 2009

(Red Dirt Music Company)

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Brandon Jenkins, a singer/songwriter/guitarist based in Austin, Texas, orchestrates a tuneful communion of top red dirt/Texas music talents for his new album, "Brothers of the Dirt."

Cody CanadaRandy Rogers and Stoney LaRue are among the musical brethren who partner with Jenkins on the record. Not only did he write or co-write all 12 tracks, from vivid character-driven stories to politically charged anthems, Jenkins shows a knack for matching the right collaborator with the right song.

But he opens with a solo effort, the scathing "Blood for Oil," which excoriates politicians on both sides of the aisle for exploiting the poor for the benefit of the rich.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Jenkins injects his brand of red dirt with a hefty dose of the blues. Jenkins and Canada, front man for Cross Canadian Ragweed, croon a beautifully bluesy 9/11 tribute with "Out of Babylon," one of the record's best tracks.

Rogers and LaRue both contribute to the solemn "Innocent Man," based on John Grisham's true-crime novel about the late Ron Williamson of Ada, who was wrongfully convicted of murder.

LaRue also helps tell the tale of a homeless woman in "Streets of North Hollywood," the sad story punctuated with Jared Tyler's scorching lap steel guitar. Since no red dirt album would be complete without a road song, Jenkins and LaRue groove on the "White Van Blues."

Jenkins channels old-school country with the mournful ballad "Hearts Don't Break Even" and then tries out an old-world sound on the gentle love song "We Could Go to Paris."

— Brandy McDonnell

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