CD Review - David Bronson "Story"
One family’s record collection condensed into one album...and it works.
David Bronson has been in and around the NY music scene for quite a while now, but has only recently recorded his own work. STORY is the first of two albums scheduled for this year.
As a man of ‘a certain age’ this has been a difficult album to listen to and actually review, as I can find just about every single one of Bronson’s influences in each song. Even the CD cover and lyric sheet/poster nod in the direction of Roger Dean who created the artwork for Yes, Budgie and Osibisa in the 1970’s.
Now that I think about it, there is more than a hint of the 1970’s and 80’s to the overall sound of the album. The more I got my head around that, the more I’ve come to enjoy STORY.
There are dreamlike qualities to several songs and, even without the aid of hallucinogenic substances, you can join David in a world of poetry, imagery and unrequited love on several occasions.
Times is a striking song with some great guitar and drum interplay as Bronson’s voice strains to be heard (physically and metaphorically) as he desperately tries to end a broken relationship.
The single Momentary, which was written by David and his brother Jeremy, opens with some delicious guitar from Bronson and Robbie Mangano. When Gerald Manke comes into the equation with his pedal-steel, you know you are hearing something special and very, very intimate.
While Bronson has a really good singing voice, and one that is well suited to Alt-Country, my knees went weak whenever Maria Neckham took centre stage. She reminds me of my teenage crush - Pauline Adams from String Driven Thing.
Bronson and Neckham’s harmonies on If, Adrift and Unending (Underture) have to be heard to be believed as they sound like nothing anyone under 40 has heard before.
This is a very wordy, intelligent album and will take several listens before it finally grows on you; but the wait is worth it.
David Bronson probably hasn’t heard of String Driven Thing (very few have) but I guess he must have raided his parents record collection on many occasions, when growing up. There are certainly deep influences from George Harrison, Cat Stevens, Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y and even an emergent Fleetwood Mac throughout STORY. Don’t let that put you off, though. This is very much an album that fits into the current wave of Nu-Folk sweeping the nation.
#RELEASED w/c 7th January