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Paul Burch

Fool for Love – 2003 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Paul Burch

Paul Burch creates music that sounds like no one else around. Musically he's always owed a debt to the classic country sounds of the post-war era, but he mixes them with his own wry humor and plaintive, charming singing style, making him a true original. After winning praise for "Last of My Kind," inspired by friend Tony Earley's novel "Jim the Boy," Burch has created what might be his best record yet.

Using a bass-heavy sound throughout that belies the relatively spare instrumentation on many of the songs, the focus is on the writing, which overall is the most consistently strong of Burch's career. The moods and tempos vary, though a gentle melancholy suffuses the worldview, from the opening "Lovesick Blues Boy,"("I was born in the Southland, maybe that says it all, one eye on my back and the other one on the door," the record begins) to the honky-tonk of "Life Of A Fool" to the gentle, sweet "Time To Cry."

After five records and three labels, Paul Burch has made his most fully-realized record and one of the best of the year.