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Stephen Bruton – Nothing But The Truth

 
Nothing But The Truth

I love when records like this happen. I loved this when I first heard it, and subsequent listens revealed more great things.

Bruton is well-known as a guitarist and ace producer from Austin. He’s had a rep for being tasteful and reliable, and this album won’t hurt that.

The songs here are nothing short of brilliant. He’s an amazing writer who can really turn a phrase and tell a story. His guitar playing is as clever as his writing. His singing is unique in the same way Dylan might be considered unique – not musically great, but perfect for the songs. You can wrap yourself around his style almost immediately.

Musically, the tunes range from country-esque ballads (“Against My Will”) to funk (“Nothing But The Truth”), to straight rock (“Trip, Stumble, and Fall”), and even some reggae thrown in (“Trip Around The Sun”). And if that’s not enough, check out the gorgeous acoustic instrumental closer, “Spirit Lake.”

I don’t want to give the impression Bruton is some sort of guitar slinger. His playing is much too tasty for that. Solos percolate, dart in and out, and enhance every cut – everything is in just the right place. In this day and age of rant and rage and beating people over the head with your music, the subtlety of this album will amaze you. Easily one of the 10 best of the year, and maybe of the decade. Highly recommended.



This review originally appeared in VG‘s June ’99 issue.

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