Bruce Guthro,
Of Your Son
(EMI, 1998)

Bruce Guthro's award-winning album Of Your Son gave rise to three Canadian Radio Music Awards, five East Coast Music Awards, a No. 1 single, a Top 25 hit and a Juno nomination. And he deserved all of it.

Guthro has a gift for storytelling through song, never lapsing into the trite or overused. His songs reflect both his life and more widespread issues. "Falling," from which the name of the album is taken, is a plea from a father to the son he abandoned 20 years before. The raw emotion evident in the song earned it both Best Songwriter and Best Single at the ECMAs. The original version and a rerecorded version bookend the album to great effect. The son's response to his father is featured on the recording Guthro and is equally emotional.

"Two Story House" is a clever play on words, as well as a beautifully heartbreaking duet with Canadian singer-songwriter Amy Sky. Taking the roles of a husband and wife in a crumbling marriage, they each present their side of the story. Honestly written and sung, it is almost enough to make you cry over what the couple has lost.

"Ivey's Wall" is an upbeat song celebrating the life of Guthro's uncle and is a lovely testament to being a nice person. "Walk This Road," which reached No. 1, is happy, uplifting and joyful. It is a song that will bring you sunshine.

So you may have gathered that I like this album. A lot. I came to this CD with pretty high expectations, as I have his later album and some of his more recent work with Runrig, all of which I love. This recording pre-dates all of that and I wasn't sure what it would be like.

It's phenomenal. His talent for telling stories about nearly everything from how great his kids are to one night stands to life long love to friendship to a new take on a piece of European folklore is indeed wide reaching. Every song is fantastic. I hate to rave, but he is amazing. The only song I don't like is "Dirty Money," which was written with Sky and Guthro's brother, Steven, and which features Natalie MacMaster, who plays fiddle throughout the album. Despite all that, it is a harsh song, especially since most of the songs have a much more polished sound.

Styles and tempos range from quick and happy sounding to slow ballads and laments. Each song is a story and you can listen to them over and over, just as you read your favourite book over and over. It is an album of short stories.

Though I wouldn't recommend this album to people who do not like folk that has a bit of rock and a fair dollop of country, anyone who is interested in the genre or in East Coast Canadian music really should try to find this album. It is a remarkable piece of work.

- Rambles
written by Jean Emma Price
published 10 July 2004