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Dean Brody (Broken Bow, 2009)

Dean Brody

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

"So country music became kind of like a soundtrack to my life. And for me there's still nothing like turning down a quiet road on a hot Sunday afternoon and listening to a Randy Travis song." That's a sample of the liner notes for British Columbia native Dean Brody's debut, and it's an indication of his traditionalist sound. Brody had a hand in writing 9 of the 11 songs; he penned six of them alone and strikes a nice balance between serious topics and lighter themes.

But a traditional sound and the fact that one can picture Brody singing straight from some dusty Canadian farm ties it all together. Brody's first single, Brothers, is a poignant ballad, told from the perspective of one brother who watches the other one go off to war. Its themes include brotherly love, dedication and sacrifice - pulling lots of heart strings - even by the country standards.

Brody also finds plenty of time for the uptempo funny bone with the playful Dirt Roads Scholar about the age old theme of someone learning through experience, instead of books and This Ain't The Same Town (I Painted Red) where he talks about how suburbanization drastically changes a town where he used to have a good ole time with friends. Same Town continues a lyrical theme for Brody; it glorifies the past much like Old Joe Riley and Back In Style. Old Joe Riley is about a fishing shack owner who turns down millions from land developers and Back In Style reflects nostalgia for the 1950's.

Relaxing - country style - is another recurring theme as evidenced by lyrical cousins Undone, Lazy Days and This Old Raft. One of the highlights is Old Cattleman's Gun where Brody bucks the trend and puts a little western back into country, and Gravity, a rare instance in country music in which the singer gets philosophical and scientific at the same time.

CDs by Dean Brody

Gypsy Road, 2015 Dean Brody, 2009

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