“001” – Branden Martin (2022) [english]

I fell in love with the voice of Branden Martin after listening to his EP Live at Southern Ground (which I talked about here: https://trexroads.altervista.org/live-at-southern-ground-branden-martin-2020/). A voice daughter of his Kentucky, a state now absolute reference of quality American music, but also a voice so intense and evocative that I had defined soul. Like the greats of the past who had walked the streets of Muscle Shoals, a place where soul music has become what we know today. The name of this album means that finally the race has started, after EP’s that had opened the way and turned the spotlight on this artist and his voice, finally the first chapter of his career is officially between us. If the prefaces of this debut had been so well received by the public and critics, I can certainly say that it will happen even after listening to the 13 songs that compose 001, indeed for sure will increase the fans, because those who love real independent country never have enough and are always ready to fall in love with artists like Branden Martin. Sincere artists, with innate talent and who write songs of real life and tell them with one of those voices made to be loved and to excite. Kyle Manner’s production leaves nothing to chance, the sound enhances the strength of Martin’s hug, but also that of the lyrics of these songs. Pieces that speak to us of the challenges of life, of love and loss, open-heart confessions that will make inroads into many hearts and into many souls. The album opens with a track that could be used to explain to the world the modern outlaw country, that dusty sound and shaken by the energy of guitars, but with a soul deeply immersed in the melancholy of country. Powerful, incisive and not banal, Same Old Road is an electric discharge, a ride on the roads that were beaten by Waylon Jennings, by Hank Williams Jr. and most recently by Creed Fisher or Dallas Moore. Here Branden Martin can safely sit at the table with these great artists and not feel out of place, indeed would stand out for energy and passion. Low Moaning Song in the previous EP was one of my favorites and here does not lose intensity and value, the dust of a beautiful country ride remains to invade the speakers and the voice of Martin guides us in this ride, maybe dreaming about us in the nature of his Kentucky. Beautiful the intense country ballad Warm Glass of Whiskey that the voice of Branden embellishes with a crazy performance. The electric guitar introduces Drunk Again, another energetic country rock piece, with a great work of pedal-steel and rhythm, which flows into a solo of sparkling beauty. The confession of The Man I Am is a slow walk where it is once again the voice to amaze for intensity and ability to capture listening. Beautiful and melancholic. Another ballad, another wonderful piece: it’s the turn of Outlaws & Gypsies, with the violin that accompanies Martin in this song that is pure outlaw country, of those who make you love this kind of music, of those who excite you to tears. Drink to Remember is no less and the video that has been taken from it, increases the emotion that already the voice and the text raise level. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is not easy and Branden Martin sings it to us giving us goosebumps. The album closes Me and this Old Guitar, a piece of honky tonk electric, powerful, energetic and fun. Imagine it played live in a legendary club like Gruene Hall or Billy Bob in Texas… I can hear the sound of wooden planks shaking and a lot of people dancing at breakneck speed. Beautiful conclusion. An intense and never banal work, a true manifesto of modern and independent outlaw country, where the wonderful voice of this man becomes the absolute protagonist. An exciting, intense voice, a consummate country rocker, but also a persuasive soul narrator. 13 songs lyrically exceptional and played great. I’m sure that the fan base of Branden Martin will only increase and I can only envy those who can go and listen to these songs live. Meanwhile I press and repeat on the streets of Kentucky, the great songs of great artists like him, are open doors on the most beautiful and intense dreams and this 001 is full of them.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/branden-martin-by-trex-roads/ )