City Paper is not for tourists
Richard Buckner is a music-convention success story: The former San Francisco-based folkie bonded with a pack of Texas’ finest players at Austin’s modish SXSW festival last year, and the networking spawned Bloomed, Buckner’s remarkably auspicious debut. The collection of Buckner originals has all the melodic melancholy and introspection of the best progressive country, augmented by a heaping helping of Lone Star twang. That combination is incredibly powerful on cuts like “Rainsquall”: Buckner’s Yoakamesque tenor imparts a rustic yarn of a drowning affair (“The things you said my darling/ And what you did my dear/Has left us in a downpour/Of misery and tears”), while Lubbock stalwart Lloyd Maines’ steel guitar drones in the background. Buckner does push the romance-gone-wrong button a tad too often on Bloomed, but tedium is never an issue: “This Is Where” is the most depressed love song this side of Chris Whitley, while the chorus of “Daisy Chain” finds Buckner more bouncy than the subject matter should allow. Former Flatlander Butch Hancock, who blows an ambient harp throughout the album, assembled Buckner’s stellar backing band, which also features accordionist (and fellow Lubbock Mafioso) Ponty Bone. Assuming Bloomed isn’t an absolute fluke, Dejadisc will have an awful tough time holding onto their new find.