Release Date: Mar 3, 2015
Record label: Crossbill
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
What has been most remarkable about singer/songwriter Tom Brosseau is not, amazingly enough, his songs. Since the beginning of the century they have been almost uniformly fine in craft, but it is the grain of his voice when delivering them -- on recordings and on stages -- that casts a pervasive spell. Almost since the beginning, on 2002's North Dakota (named for his home state), Brosseau has been spinning tales with a timeless brand of popular song that descends equally from gospel, early country and bluegrass, folk music, and the Great American Songbook.
Say you’re at a bar, a baseball game, a barbecue—anywhere, really—and you meet someone who earnestly describes himself as a "hard luck boy." He doesn’t appear to be a coal miner, or a factory worker, but a regular guy with a sharp haircut and a bespoke suit. Handsome, too. How dare he? I’m comfortable in assuming most people would instinctively roll their eyes, and wish this guy back to the Dust Bowl.
In 2007, Tom Brosseau released Cavalier, his most pared down and achingly clear record. His voice and guitar were close to the mic, both high in the mix, creating an intimacy with the listener that worked well with his sweet, reedy voice. His next record, Posthumous Success completely left that spare intimacy behind in favor of full-band expanse. He’s spent the years since digging back into that intimacy, on recordings with the likes of John C.