Title: Jumping Ship and Other Stories
Catalogue Number: Mungler Winslowe Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008
Brandt is an idiosyncratic songwriter nesting in Maryland in the United States. Apparently prolific in his output, this is the first time this particular Bluesbunny has come across him but, appetite whetted, I'll be searching out more.
Sparse and folky with acoustic guitars and banjos predominant - although there are some spectacular electric guitar flourishes - and with a vocal style not dissimilar to Devandra Banhart, Brandt has essayed seventeen songs and tunes that evoke a rural retreat and a sense of isolation. Apparently the collection is inspired by a prolonged stay in Brooklyn which ended in Brandt, disillusioned, returning to Maryland. While none of the songs directly address this, the theme of searching for a place to stay or a vocation in life is present in "If You Know" and "Hard to Find". Aided and abetted by his wife Crystal and several other musicians this is a fine collection of low key folk tinged songs that improve with repeated listens.
In a personal touch, this CD comes in a hand made sleeve and contains a short story in the booklet which is, in itself, a fine exercise in minimalist story telling.
July 10, 2008
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