DIARY - 16 AUGUST 2005 - SIMON BRUCE CD REVIEW
RESTLESS THOUGHTS (ESSENCE-EMI)
that Simon Bruce busked on the streets of London at 13 and cut his
second EP in Nashville at 15 with Tommy Emmanuel producing and Keith
Or that he toured the U.S. with John Hiatt at 19 and worked the
Texas kicker circuit with revered peers Slaid Cleaves and Nathan
Just grab the moment - at 20 he far exceeds the hype on his debut
Bruce mines the troubadour trove of early mentor Dylan with delicious
dexterity and delivers without those aural imperfections.
Vocally, he has the allure of Urban or a younger Graeme Connors
but could be a lost love child of Dylan's most enduring protégée
So, those are the salient signposts - what about the artist.
charts his course from the first note of riveting entrée The
Holy Grail and reflective ruptured romance of Turn Myself To Driftin'.
just the artist soaring over a sea of organ but poignant passion injected
into his single Too Late Now and the mystical harmonica driven
"This old road keeps losing weight/as I drift to the nearest state,"
Simon sings in the latter, "where I'm going, I don't know/just as
far as my feet can go,"
Wanderlust is Bruce's strong suit and he wears it well on Restless
Thoughts, idyllic If You Stay and eerie rhetorical What
Scares You Tonight?, penned with Nashville hit writer Angelo.
no point of return in unconditional love for the flawless goddess
in Never Say Goodbye or unbridled adulation - "I'm the
suitcase in your hand, the love heart in the sand" - in Crazy
Like The Wind.
Bruce exploits idealistic bliss in Young N Free, a climatic
metaphor in the poetic joy of Peaceful and flirts with failure
in vitriol, drenched finale The Final Straw.
So what makes Bruce one of the most exciting homegrown artists of
Well, all songs have a true depth and Nash Chambers' production ensures
that every nuance and note impacts with nothing lost in the mix.
Bruce deserves commercial airplay but will be rewarded more on eclectic
formats of Americana stations and ABC and community airwaves here.
A shame - this is a gem with few flaws.
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