Cory Branan The No-Hit Wonder
Published Aug 15, 2014Cory Branan is perhaps best described (even if it's a cliché, and more than a little cumbersome) as a songwriter's singer-songwriter. He writes impeccable, evocative, insightful lyrics and pairs them with no frills Americana formulas that fit like an old pair of boots. Other songwriters worship him — Chuck Ragan has called him "the greatest songwriter of our generation" — and who wouldn't want to play finger-style guitar the way he does? But, despite all of this attention from his peers, Branan has remained invisible to most outside a certain segment of the music industry. Hence the cute it's-not-me-it's-you gag in the album title.
But, if the people are willing to take a listen, what they'll find here is a pretty terrific collection of songs. On his fourth record, Branan is in peak form, moving between jaunty zydeco ("Daddy Was A Skywriter"), gothic folk ("All I Got Is Gone"), alt-country jangle ("You Make Me") and classic Texas folk ("The Meantime Blues") with enviable ease. The killer one-liners pile up early, and so do the guest appearances. Craig Finn, Jason Isbell, Tim Easton and Caitlin Rose all show up to play, reminding us both that Branan can stand beside the best in the business, and that the best in the business want to stand beside him. (Bloodshot)