Lonesome Bob

Things Change

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Although he's originally from New Jersey, from the sounds of his sophomore release it's impossible to tell that Lonesome Bob wasn't raised in a little country shack somewhere in the Deep South. But the high lonesome croon of the big man with the big voice is only one facet to this multi-talented singer/songwriter. The cover depicts Bob as a mean, bald, wrestler type looking for a fight, yet he's actually a smart and intensely personal lyricist who can crank out a rollicking country stomper like "It'd Be Sad if It Weren't So Funny" as casually as he unravels on a weeper like the following title track. Bob's lyrics explore the "everyday ball and chain" life perfectly in "Heather's All Bummed Out," a song about a woman in her thirties coming to grips with the reality of how her dreams won't be coming true. He hits George Jones territory in the self-descriptive "I Get Smarter Every Drink" and on "Where Are You Tonight," the album's seven-minute centerpiece, unfolds a story of a lost love that builds musical intensity as it continues. The funereal organ in the mid-tempo "The Time I Have Left" underpins the sentiments expressed in the song's title with stunning simplicity, similar to how the Band might have approached the song. But Bob works with just as powerful an attack when he unwinds on rugged rockers like the opening "Got Away With It," which even quotes the "mansion of the hill" of his New Jersey hometown hero, Bruce Springsteen. Extra tracks not listed on the sleeve include a cover of Clarence Carter's "Patches" that rivals the original in its rough-hewn honesty and an instrumental coda that closes the album in American roots fashion. As on his previous release, Allison Moorer handles sublime backing vocals that infuse a female sensibility into the slow, sad bluegrass of "Weight of the World." Things Change is a sturdy, honest, and uncompromising album that rocks as hard as it tears into your heart, proving that Lonesome Bob is a major talent waiting for the right breaks to connect with a larger audience.

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