Fredericksburg, VA country rocker Steven Bruce’s debut album mixes cosmic country with a Waylon swagger and Petty riffs, all in a voice pitched between John Prine and Lukas Nelson. Bruce draws most of his writing from his own experiences which, over the past few years, have been mostly bad. Now in his late 20’s Bruce looks back on playing bars, getting married and divorced then losing his beloved grandparents who had encouraged his musical talents from an early age. But he doesn’t wallow in self-pity, he accepts his lot and gets on with it.
First up is divorce, ‘Cryin’ Eyes’. The Telecaster strut leading into, “I still see the stains of sadness from the teardrops she once cried”, with a pedal steel to match shouts outlaw country. The harmonies featuring Mackenzie Roark and Karen Jonas deepen Bruce’s sadness.