Real Roots Cafe - 2009

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Russ Brown from Minnesota is a newcomer that sticks to a simple and true musical philosophy: "Songs are like poker hands: if they don't excite you, don't play them." In the case of his debut album The Fugitive Peace he doesn't have worry because his folk and alt-country songs are more than enough to move the right-minded fan.

Through a combination of driving, rhythmic uptempo songs and romantic, atmospheric ballads, it's an excellent record for on the way to somewhere (or nowhere). An album for the quiet, endless highway that takes you into a dream and allows you escape reality for a little while.

The roots-rock opening number Las Vegas Blvd. – with nice fuzzy guitar work – is the perfect beginning to the journey, on through the languid Dirt Roads, the yearning Whiskey Chaser, the loving Fall Into Memphis and the calming (final) title track, emerging again peaceful and awakened. The songs which speak to the imagination are beautifully sung by Russ Brown. He possesses a lovely lazy, clear voice with a slight burr. The musical style is formed by a standard line-up of drums, bass and guitars, here and there filled in with harmonica, piano and vocal harmonies. With this crisp-sounding album, Russ Brown has laid his cards on the table: Play!