Russ Brown - The Fugitive Peace - 5 stars
Maverick Magazine Review
Inspiring alt.country debut album from Minneapolis singer-songwriter
There are times in which life feels like one long road trip and for those times you need a soundtrack that's going to span the journey and take you somewhere, even if the road trip ends up with you drinking whisky alone at a bar cursing the fact that yet another relationship is over.
We appear to be going through a period on the Americana scene at the moment where a new troubadour is needed - someone who can bring something different to the table and who can document the life and times we are in. Russ Brown is a possible contender for that throne with his own brand of honest, bare knuckled songwriting about relationships and the places he has been and the characters he has met.
Jay Farrar, Ryan Adams, and Slaid Cleaves are names that spring to mind when you listen to THE FUGITIVE PEACE but it is his songwriting and personal musical vision that really makes him stand out from the crowd on this record.
Las Vegas Blvd is a cracking opener and also a possible anthem for all of us that have ended up looking at the bottom end of a beer glass hoping for something better to come along. With Dirtroads, he shows how in tune he is with the very different types of people he has come across, their lives, hopes and dreams combined with the wonderful combination of beautiful harmonies and tentative guitar playing. Till My Lawyer Says Otherwise is a rocking tune about a girl in the spotlight and the problems that being with her creates.
At times while listening to THE FUGITIVE PEACE his vocals and guitar playing are so haunting and blissful if a pin dropped you would hear it, especially on Fortress Americana, St. Brigid, and Joe Lewis. Russ shows how strong a performer he is with the mighty alt.country rocker "Fall into Memphis" - a tale about not being second best and fighting to be with the one you love.
Russ Brown has given us one of the most refreshing insightful records to be heard on this scene for a long time. His thoughtful honest songwriting is second to none Sitting alone at the bar will now feel much better with his songs to accompany us - Cat Norris