Brother Trucker

Brother Trucker

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Des Moines-based roots-rockers Brother Trucker have much to recommend them, not the least of which is vocalist/guitarist Andy Fleming. Besides being an expressive and versatile singer, he's responsible for all the songs here, and they paint convincing portraits of drifters, drunks, and assorted other losers. "Too Loose (Friday Night)," for example, tells of a character who's "Driving the back roads just because he's been drinking/Got his windows all rolled down/Hoping it will clear up his thinking." The excellent "The Day I Was Released," meanwhile, gives a first-person account of a man who just got paroled from prison, while on "Razor Wire," the singer " ... lost my job/Things got so dire/Now I got sent up/Because I played with fire." But don't let lines like these lead you to expect a depressing album: It may tell of characters in dire straits, but the fiddle-, harmonica-, and pedal steel-spiced music is spirited and melodic. An auspicious debut indeed.

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