Paul Burch,
Fool for Love
(Bloodshot, 2003)

Paul Burch is multi-talented -- he is not only a great singer, but he also writes all his own songs and plays several instruments. His music is clearly rooted in traditional country although he does not limit himself to traditional instruments, so the result is a traditional album with a modern edge, but with no hint of pop crossover. Only a die-hard traditionalist who wants music that sounds exactly as it did way back when could complain at the results.

Although the album was recorded in Nashville, Paul's music is not the kind of stuff that generally appeals to the major labels these days, though he is far more talented than the country singers these labels often sign.

On Burch's website, the songs are described as being about love in modern life put to the beat of the honky-tonk sound that is his trademark. Actually, I was trying to think which other, more famous, country singer that he most reminds me of but nobody stands out. Burch has clearly absorbed many influences in creating his own sound.

The set opens with "Lovesick Blues Boy," which has an infectious beat but starts by describing his difficult upbringing and ends as a love song. "Bad Girl She Used to Be" tell the story of how Burch fell in love with a woman then found out that she didn't live up to her reputation. "Life of a Fool" is an upbeat, rocking song. There are many other great songs here -- indeed, every song here is brilliant.

If you enjoy traditional country with a modern edge, you will love this album.

- Rambles
written by Peter D. Harris
published 13 December 2003

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