Brenn Hill

Call You Cowboy

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Brenn Hill seems to understand that images of the West remain a fertile area to explore the American character. Call You Cowboy, in fact, opens with the title cut and "Roundup Fire," two songs that reveal Hill's fascination with sagebrush and the windy plains. Acoustic guitars and tasteful fiddles are joined by steel guitar to offer a nice country-folk background for Hill's songs to unfold. Good harmony embellishes "Rewin the West," while no more than a poem read against a spare piano fills out "Cottonwood." Fancy fingerpicking and vigorous percussion liven up cuts like "Grey River Road" and "Wyoming Wind," while a softer touch graces ballads like "Night Like This." It's a plus that Hill writes his own material, because he's clearly interested in presenting it in the best light. One of his finest lyrics shows up on "Fall Comin' On," a song that cleverly uses a change of season to reflect on the change in a lover's kiss. While Brenn does wear a hat, he clearly can't be mistaken for another cookie-cutter, neo-traditional Nashville pretty boy. One must also take into account his record label, Real West, is interested in reinvigorating cowboy music. Call You Cowboy should please fans of authentic country music with a taste for the open range.

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