Published Aug 05, 2015American-based English singer/songwriter Bobby Long is still a relative unknown up here in Canada, but he has a loyal and growing fan base Stateside. They helped him crowd-fund new album Ode To Thinking (his third official full-length release), and are likely to be pleased with the results.
Long's style is an intriguingly diverse one, mixing folk-rock, Americana and soul elements. For instance, "Coldhearted Lover Of Mine," "Treat Me Like a Stranger" and "Something Blue Something Borrowed" are blue-eyed soul ballads, while "I'm Not Going Out Tonight" is a mid-tempo rocker with a real strong John Hiatt flavour. With the exception of slide guitar on one cut, all the instruments here are played by Long and Mark Hallman, who also produces. Hallman plays bass, drums, organ, guitars, harmonica, piano, mandola and accordion, while Long sticks to acoustic and electric guitars. The playing and the production are proficient and clean, though a mite more grit in both would have been welcomed.
The anti-racist vitriol of "Kill Someone" is a bracing shot of adrenaline ("Who the hell takes a baby to a dead man's wake, when the dead man's a racist, the dead man's a snake?") and other songs ("That Little Place," "The Song The Kids Sing") are similarly willing to kick over the leaves of the past to reveal dark and disturbing things lying underneath. Long is an artist worth keeping an eye and ear on. (Compass)