Bart Crow / Bart Crow Band

Brewster Street Live

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Bart Crow brings his band to play before his hometown fans, including his parents and his sister Tami (who gets a song about her in the set list), at Corpus Christi's Brewster Street club on this concert recording. Although that band, with its two-guitar, bass, drums lineup, would seem to suggest guitar rock rather than country, and its music really is pop/rock, Crow's twangy Texas accent lands him in the country category. Musically, he is very similar to the young Steve Earle, but his sensibility is much more conventional and conservative. He gives a brief speech before "Understand" (which probably should be called "They Don't Understand") in which he tells his audience to hang onto their dreams and not let anyone dissuade them, but the song itself is no more daring than a tale of young love, and he follows it with "Hollywood," in which he makes clear that, if your dream involves getting above your raising by, say, wanting to be a movie star, you should dream something else. Then comes "Broken," prefaced by a pledge of devotion to the American military in its missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, even though the song itself tells of the harrowing effects of war on the individual soldier. Actually, Crow is better when he sticks to romantic issues, particularly of the lost love variety. A quality new song comes up in "Some Days I Don't," which is about suffering from the aftereffects of a failed love affair, and it may have helped that Crow co-wrote the song with Trent Willimon; on his own, he suffers a fatal attraction to hoary clich├ęs. Not that that the rowdy crowd at Brewster Street cares. To them, he is a returning hero, and they know many of his songs well enough to sing along.

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