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The Brag & Cuss

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 19, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Unlike the minimal acoustic guitar and vocals of his breakthrough, "Makers", this is very much a band record. The album ventures at times into the classic country territory of lovers, drinkers, and the distant oasis of a truck stop on a stretch of dark highway. "Votolato teases whole worlds out of his beautifully understated lyrics. Think Elliott Smith, only more hopeful and with a grittier voice" - Marie Claire. "The disc Ryan Adams keeps threatening to make but never quite delivers" - Alternative Press.

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Rocky Votolato is caught in a Catch-22. Crossing North America to play his music live, he misses his family--but that yearning for his Seattle home apparently works to stoke his songwriting. After touring behind his finest effort, 2006's Makers, the raw-voiced folk singer betters that mark on his fifth solo record, a travel kaleidoscope of a neverending road passing by the window. "I hear a train whistle blowing/And it's in key with my song," Votolato sings on "The Wrong Side of Reno," which finds him "searching no matter how many miles left until we get back home." The harmonica-led shuffle is one of several numbers that drift toward the country side of the ledger, with banjo, mandolin, accordion, and Hammond B3 providing the perfect backdrop for his forlorn, yet hopeful lyrics. While Votolato is staying in touch from a Southern filling station ("Postcard from Kentucky"), visualizing the years churning past ("Time Is a Debt"), and relying on a bottle to "kill the pain" ("Your Darkest Eyes"), you're in the seat next to him, and a couple turns through these 11 songs (with lyrics) will make the journey well worth it. --Scott Holter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B000PSJCXS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gnu on August 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I really like Rocky's music and this CD is in heavy rotation on my CD player. This guy should be a lot more famous than he is.

I highly recommend purchasing this and his other CDs. There isn't a bad one in the bunch.
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One of the best song writers of this decade, incredible. His work with waxwing was amazing and he keeps expanding with each solo release although I honestly think suicide medicine is still his best work overall.
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Format: Audio CD
Rocky Votolato is phenominal, but this hasn't alway been the case. From his first taste of popularity with Waxwing, to his first big step as a solo artist with Suicide Medicine, he has been consistently BECOMING phenominal. Where most people think that he finally got there with his last effort Makers, they were only right until the release of The Brag and Cuss. The Brag contains everything you loved about Makers, with an added diversity and musical prowess that is coming out in spades, as opposed to the occasional accompaniment on Makers. More harmonica and stellar organ/piano/accordion from Rick Stef (Cat Power) add to the traditional country feel of the record. Basically, if you liked Makers, you'll love The Brag and Cuss. If you didn't like Makers, you'll at the very least respect it.
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I have several of Votolato's albums, and there is one song on this one that I like, but for the most part this is my least favorite comparing to White Daisy, Suicide Medicine, and some other one I have
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