Life is hard. It’s a daily deluge of heartache, frustration, anger, and boredom, mercifully interrupted by death or a breath of fresh air. Life is an endless horizon of concrete and barbed-wire with the occasional rose shooting through the cracks.
Enter Brandon Jenkins, singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas (by way of Tulsa, Oklahoma). He’s the rare flower that fights through miles of red clay and gravel, finally hitting air.
Jenkins is burly, bearded, tattooed, and physically intimidating. He’s also unguarded and vulnerable, like The Incredible Hulk holding a kitten. He has an oak-tree vibrato, piercing and soulful. He sounds like a third-degree burn, like he drove through hell and blew out the other end.
Through The Fire, Jenkins’ 10th CD, is alternately wistful and apocalyptic, gentle and rock-hard. The title track is a tribute to survival and the will to live, while “Going Down To New Orleans” goes to hell and back for an elusive love. “Leave The Lights On” is a slinky come-on reminiscent of Tony Joe White, while “Horsemen Are Coming” gallops like Black Sabbath, red dirt division. But the standout track is ‘”In Time”, a piano ballad on par with the best of Sir Elton John. This song alone is worth the price of admission. It’s simply astonishing.
Through The Fire is a roller coaster of roadhouse guitars, southern swamp groove, downhome country, even funky instrumentals. It burns like a July afternoon.
Life is hard, but roses grow from concrete. Get Through The Fire.
Michael Franklin is the Media & Reserves Specialist at Western Kentucky University’s Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPAL). Michael is also a professional musician and sound engineer. He is currently recording his 6th CD with his best friends Screenlast 6.0 and Audacity Sourceforge. He thinks Iggy Pop is the greatest singer in the history of music. If you disagree, you’re wrong. You better ask somebody.
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