Braden Land

Retriever Records, 2006


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Take a voice similar to Gram Parsons, add the harmonica sound of classic Dylan, a dash of solid acoustic guitar, some excellent lyrics, mix them all together, and you have Braden Land.

Dirt is the first album release by independent singer/songwriter Landmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 . He adheres well to two of the three basic rules of the independent artist: 1) Keep it simple. 2) Keep it interesting. He breaks rule number three by not including the lyrics to his songs in the CD packaging. His lyrics are sophisticated enough to make this a grievous oversight.

Land is a competent acoustic guitar player. Where he shines, however, and makes his music most interesting, is by playing the harmonica. His weaving of that harmonica sound in and out of his song structures is both creative and innovative. It supports his songs well and on occasion takes the lead and creates a different sound than many of his singer/songwriter contemporaries.

Land also brings a southern spiritual element to his writing. His theology is not overt or oppressive but hides under the surface, drawing and pushing the listener in certain directions.

“Any Old Blues” leads off the album and sets the tone for what is to follow, quickly establishing his guitar-harmonica instrumental interplay woven throughout his song structures and lyrics.

Songs such as “Willy” and “Satan’s Train Out Of Nashville, TN” explore his spiritual themes yet Land is smart enough to vary the tempo of the songs. “So Cold About It” explores serious themes but in a somewhat comical Talkin’ Blues sort of way.

Dirt is a solid debut effort. The lyrics are well crafted and Land’s voice complements them well. The album meanders along and lulls the listener in accompanying Land on his musical journey. It is an even album with no real high points but nothing offensive either.

All in all, Dirt is worth a listen.  Braden Land is a work in progress and time will tell what direction his music will take him in.

Rating: B

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© 2008 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Retriever Records, and is used for informational purposes only.