2014 Honorable Mention Pick 5

Bry Webb: Free Will (Idee Fixe, 2014).

Bry Webb’s roots music record is an equally balanced combination of sweetness and melancholy.  Webb’s voice is smooth and mellow and he does not over sing, which is pretty sweet.  There’s also some honey background vocals.  On the melancholy side, there’s an awful lot of tasteful and lonesome slide guitar/pedal steel and some abstract drones (the title track is a brief instrumental of all drones) that are also on the melancholy side.

I love the first tune Fletcher (a live version clipped below), I liked the second tune AM Blues less, and really felt the fourth tune Prove Me Wrong after being a little puzzled by the third tune, Positive People.

Beautiful slide guitar, some tasteful drones here and there, very nice Daniel Lanois influenced production, solid delivery with a couple of outstanding tunes.  I think he does better with the slower, more miserable tunes than with the midtempo rockers but I think folks could really get into this record.

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