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Brad Boyer
©2011 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd


It’s as if Brad Boyer found my secret notes on how to release a CD and he followed the formula quite nicely.  First, I like to know what’s inside without listening to the first note.  Brad just comes right out and tells you on the cover that you’re in for Americana Folk and Country.  He also let’s you know he’s a Lonesome Dove fan.  I wasn’t sure that would come into play, and for the most part, musically, it didn’t.  However, Boyer’s reference to the epic was more than just a cryptic note to those in the know, but the Latin phrase made famous by the movie series has significance with respect to the album.  If you’re not familiar, the phrase Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit appears on a famous sign in the movie and there is a great deal of controversy surrounding its meaning and the author’s reason for including it.  If you take it at face value, and without any literal translation, it means that when a musician surrounds himself with great musicians, it tends to make him better somehow.  A Veritas.  This is a true condition with this release.  Brad Boyer is a great songwriter and an adept performer, but by surrounding himself with a host of outstanding pickers, he has caused the emergence of one of the best debut offerings to come along in a while.  Boyer’s influences are country, but his writing is a less formulate as he demonstrates that great songs must sometimes take the path less traveled.  The opener is the title track and sets a tone for the release that makes the listener inquisitive as to what lies ahead.  As you experience the rest of the tracks, you’ll find Boyer’s obsession with imagery and phrasing, leaving behind any regard for the status quo.  “In A Bar Downtown” takes a modern mixture of folk and bluegrass to frame a story that could easily be a mundane testament to every drinking man, but instead, Boyer expertly recounts the useless efforts of beginning a hopeful journey from the wrong embarking point.  Listen carefully for the songwriter reference that hints at the possibility that Boyer is writing from a personal experience.  Boyer continues on an almost choreographed path with “Marie” which is a natural follow up track with just a little more folk, a little less bluegrass, and the first real country licks.  Boyer progresses into his country flavor with “Tonight I’m Gonna Lose” which is an interesting blend of upbeat meter and a rather sad story.  Somehow it works and bridges the story as you begin to realize that Boyer’s tracks are meant to be heard in succession.  The entire disc works on random play, but you’ll enjoy Boyer’s insight if you hear the tracks in order.  By track five, Boyer has moved into full country mode and every song needs a good Telecaster piece.  Next, relax as you get your lament in “West Texas Wind” which provides the Lonesome Dove level of sadness you knew would be somewhere on this disc.  If you are looking for a chronology in the songs or some microcosm in the tracks, the first six will do it for you.  Starting with track seven, Boyer writes of a life that might have passed before the eyes of the object of track six.  The last five tracks give you examples of Boyer’s writing prowess and solidify him as a redoubtable Texas performer.  As you round out the album with Boyer’s beautiful love song “For Your Love,” you’ll find yourself checking your travel schedule so that you can catch the next show.  Boyer is the complete package with a true voice, great writing, and with the line up of pickers on this project, a viable recording artist.  You only get one chance to put out a debut album, so you must make sure you have ripened before you ask to be plucked from the vine.  For Boyer and his excellent first release, Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit says it all. 

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Brad Boyer