Forget 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 Urban guesting.

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 Hamilton.

Just grab the moment - at 20 he far exceeds the hype on his debut album.

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 Eric Andersen.

So, those are the salient signposts - what about the artist.

Well, Bruce charts his course from the first note of riveting entrée The Holy Grail and reflective ruptured romance of Turn Myself To Driftin'.

It's not just the artist soaring over a sea of organ but poignant passion injected into his single Too Late Now and the mystical harmonica driven Rainbow Hotel.

"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.

There's 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 the decade?

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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