Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller. As with any of his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garc¡a M rquez, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefit from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed experience. The album Mutt also bears the marks of his "American gumbo" heritage: a winding path from nascent guitar shredder in the small, state-line town of Southaven, Mississippi, to fledgling troubadour in Memphis' lauded underground music scene, and now a Nashville-based itinerant road warrior thrilling Thunderdomes as varied as Warp's Country Throwdown and Chuck Ragan's Revival Tour. While his music tips its hat to roadmap influences from Motown to Mellencamp, the Delta bluesmen to folk pickers of '60s Greenwich Village, the united result is a singular sound spurred on by years spent on tour honing something rare that is altogether its own.
His songwriting is up there with the best of the new breed of today ala Snodgrass, Finn and Nichols… Mutt is undoubtedly the best Branan release to date, a shiny new jewel in the Bloodshot Records crown that will no doubt clutter the upper reaches of many a Best Of 2012 list. --PopMatters
Darken My Door bests anything Ryan Adams has written since Heartbreaker, and Yesterday is a bittersweet teenage reverie that rewrites Mellencamp s Jack and Diane into your new summer jam. --Paste Magazine
The album is at once bold, intriguing and engrossing. The diverse themes are held together by an impeccable knack for the craft of songwriting. --Country Standard Time
Whether the protagonist or antagonist in his own set of narratives, Branan coaxes listeners firmly to his side with his whiskey-smooth croon and a transparency that is somehow bold and vulnerable all at once. Mutt is an assembly of rhyming invectives, lamentations, and near-sermons that ask for recognition without demanding pity --Interview
On Mutt, the country, soul, gospel and classic rock he's absorbed through his travels filters down to just its barest and strongest elements. Then it's all tempered by the mellow charring of Branan's voice, which is so smoky that even at full power it retains a whispering quality. --Country Music Television