Brady Harris – Lone Star
“Will you follow me down?” asks Brady Harris at the beginning of his record. The answer is yes. The Texas-bred, Los Angeles-based Harris goes on a highly rewarding musical trip through Beatlesesque pop-rock and singer-songwriter intimacy.
Using money he won from an mp3.com contest, Harris recorded much of this disc at home (on a mike won in a Shure contest). It worked; Lone Star boasts a full, lush sound, with acoustic guitar playing off a simple piano riff in the memorable “Weekend In Detroit”, pedal steel winding through the ache-filled “Good To Know”, and Beatles-inspired harmonies throughout.
Harris’ subtle yet ingratiating melodic sense allows his songs to creep inside your head. Even harder-edged fare such as the twangy Westerbergian rocker “Strangers When We Meet” and the Big Star-like standout “Streets Of Spain” shimmer with a luminescence rather than clubbing your over the head with their hooks.
The front half of the disc is stronger than the more adventurous second half, but even so, the only real filler track is the closing instrumental “Battery Park AM”, which feels like an audition for soundtrack gigs. But he’s already passed the audition; Harris shouldn’t have to win another contest to make his next record.