‘Blanco County Nights’ from Brant Croucher - encounters, incidents and experience(December 30, 2014)
I found something inspirational and attractive about ‘Blanco County Nights’ from Brant Croucher. This is an album thatstands testimony to high calibre songwriting, overflowing with engrossing songs, offering a surfeit of stunning melodies and replete with memorable hooks. And if thoughtful Americana delivered by musicians totally at home with the music producing a sound that's as tight as a hatband, then listen to this .
Possessing a rich voice that wraps itself around his words with the smoothness of double rectified whiskey, Croucher leads through a collection of personal and private expressions of encounters, incidents and experience. At times it’s hard to remember a young man is writing these songs. Clearly, there’s considerable life-experience here. He cuts to hard messages, ponders changes and wanderings, explores fulfilment and regret, and then returns memories with a reflection that usually demands a certain age. From the moment the deep-seated expression of ‘When You Come To Me’ leads in, through the upbeat energy of ‘Doing Well’ and ‘Time I Walk Away’ to arrival at the longing hurt of ‘Blanco County Lights’ you know how this album makes you feel.
And that feeling is what makes ‘Blanco County Nights’ such a striking album, tough tales or not, regrets or expectations, this music reaches out and leaves you feeling you’ve shared something worth sharing. Whether it’s the touching story of ‘Theodora’, the reflective reminiscing of ‘Still The One’ or finding the acceptance of ‘Free Will’ there’s a quality that persists.
Playing across selected tracks on ‘Blanco County Nights’ are Brant Croucher (vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitars) Jack Saunders (bass, backing vocals) Rick Richards (drums) Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle) Sam Austin (lead and electric guitars) Willy T. Golden (lap steel) Riley Osbourn (keys) Lloyd Maines (dobro) Liz Lee (cello) with Lainey Balagia, Libby Koch and Matt Harlan (background vocals).
Find Brant Croucher and ‘Blanco County Nights’ here: www.brantcroucher.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll