BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Known mainly for his song “How To Grow a Woman From the Ground,” a tune famously covered by Chris Thiele, Tom Brousseau is a modern folkie with an upbeat attitude and a decidedly unassuming style. It’s appropriate then that his latest album, Grass Punks, shows him operating in a stripped down setting, recording at home in an acoustic format with the sole accompaniment of Sean Watkins, who is, ironically, Thiele’s colleague in Nickel Creek.
Despite the austere settings, these nine songs retain their spunk and rhythm, thanks to the rhythm and roll that enlivens “Cradle Your Device” and the sprightly sound of “Love High John the Conqueror Root.” Other tunes take a quieter route, as offered by the serenely harmonious “We Were Meant To Be Together,” the delicate but expressive “I Love To Play Guitar” and the winsome “Today Is A Bright Day.” Yet, while practically every track deserves mention, there is a certain sameness that often seems to inhibit the momentum and prevent any one of them from being any kind of singular standout. Brousseau possesses a certain spirit and shine, but a bit more spark would give Grass Punks more of a means by which to elevate the intrigue.
DOWNLOAD: “Cradle Your Device,” “We Were Meant To Be Together,” “I Love To Play Guitar”