‘American Echoes’ – Bob Bradshaw - songs written with a deep understanding(August 16, 2017)
I’ll come clean right at the start, ever since I first heard that sparse minimalist music and those distinctive, laid back rangy vocals, I’ve been an admirer of Bob Bradshaw’s songs. So when ‘American Echoes’ (his seventh studio album) arrived it was bound to hold my attention. With inspiration pulled from country and folk, bluegrass and blues, a soupcon of jazz and barrel-loads of Americana understanding, it’s a collection of songs written with a deep understanding of its subjects with the clarity of a foreigner in his adopted country. That’s the skill-set of this Irish-born, Boston-based singer-songwriter.
The themes run through the amalgam of hopes and dreams, losers and winners, realistic views on love and perceptive self-appraisal. As with all Bradshaw’s albums the longer you engage the more you identify with his observations and share in his world view. Opening with ‘Exotic Dancers Wanted’ the hook is in from the first, then he reels you further in through ‘The Assumptions We Make’ and the perceptive ‘A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing’. The ‘rootsy’ feel is something you could reach out and touch in songs like ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘My Double and I’, while the mournful cry of ‘O Brother’ hits it perfectly.
Review: Tom Franks