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Grissom and Hill
©2011 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd


Stephen Covey said, “First seek to understand, then to be understood.”  In my approach to the new project from Russ Grissom and Scott Hill, I needed to get some understanding before telling the world what I thought of the album.  I needed to understand the new name.  Those of you familiar with Grissom Hill will now have to get used to Grissom and Hill, as maybe it should have been from the beginning.  After listening, it’s evident that Russ and Scott are the driving force behind the sound, and always have been, so it makes sense that you come to know them as an e pluribus unum of sorts.  Each is quite capable, but together, a synergy is present that can’t be denied.  I like Russ Grissom’s writing, but his song titles take some getting used to.  The repeating hook within the song won’t necessarily be the song title, and that’s okay, it’s just one more thing that sets him apart from the rank and file of Texas music.  BRIDGE is the tertiary release for this pair, and the maturation is evident, both in Grissom’s writing and in the performances.  Stephen C. Meyer of Timber Lodge Recording Co. has done a wonderful job of capturing the emotion of each track.  Meyer’s subtle use of twin tracking along with his high standard of recording what is there without building the house on the back end have helped bring Grissom and Hill to the big stage as vocal performers.  Meyer is able to get from these guys what just couldn’t be captured in their debut offering.  In my quest for understanding, I’m going to have to consider this an artistic piece, as there are a minimal number of tracks that push creativity aside and shoot for sheer commercial viability.  There are some radio attractions here, “Fly Away” being the most likely successful single release if jocks will play it with the spoken break. (which is an outstanding feature of the song)  The album has a spiritual feel without sounding like a Bible-thumping Christian album.  I do think radio is going to be slow warming up to some of the lengthy tracks, but what Grissom had to say needed a little extra time to be said.  A very nicely produced record, BRIDGE is starting to come into focus.  This album fills the gap between what was for Russ and Scott and what lies ahead for the restructured duo.  Always a bit on the intellectual side, Grissom has found a new channel for his writing that gets his heartfelt point across with imagery that has eluded him on two previous albums.  These songs can still please crowds while delivering a decent message; something too few bands are striving for these days.  As I sit here in my new-found understanding, I offer little in the way of insight that can’t be collected with one listen of the dozen cuts offered here.  As the old song goes, “you can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothin’ to say.”  Well, Grissom and Hill have plenty to say and they’ve said it in a way that will have a large impact on the Texas music scene.  Load this album into your mp3 player with the songs of all your other favorite MTM members and you’ll be in great anticipation with your shuffle feature on.  For those who just dig putting on a cool disc and cleaning the house, you have about an hour… you may begin.  Understand?


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Grissom and Hill