The first great record of 2016 is here. Recorded in the summer of last year, East Nashville songsmith Brian Wright put together what appears to be the first in a series of home recordings. Production and instrumentation are sparse as a southwestern vista. Austere, colorful backing (harmonica here, banjo and/or backing vocals there) occasionally accompany his bright acoustic guitar and rock solid voice. Beware this desert, though. Wright’s wry songwriting is twisted like the trunk of an old Texas sage. The hope in his songs often hides just over the horizon. Folks who enter will come to quick understanding that nature’s laws win out more often than not here. Brian Wright’s characters are alarmingly normal folks, who, if they ain’t dead, are probably just lucky. If they ain’t hurtin’ they ain’t livin’, and if they ain’t heartbroken or heat-strokin’ they’re probably throbbin and thirstin’ and well on their way.
In Wright’s works malformations, afflictions, wrong-headedness, and the vulgarity of sinners are the counterpoint to his beautiful guitar melodies (and he’s become a fascinating guitar player over the years). Though, in some act of cosmic benevolence Wright’s sad songs offer a reprieve from our own daily torment. Your life ain’t so bad compared to lovers lost on the radar, junkie queens, bitter songsters, and melancholy travelers. Just for good measure, Wright throws in his take on Woody Guthrie’s classic “Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done Here,” and well, it’s about the biggest thing any man since Woody’s ever done.
It’s pay what you will over on bandcamp. Wright has also posted his first two records with The Waco Tragedies, Bluebird, and Dog Ears.