Tom Brosseau

SXSW Reviews

Tom Brosseau

Grand Forks (Loveless)

Tom Brosseau has one of the most arresting voices in folk music, a high-pitched, angelic croon devoid of affectation and delivered with utter sincerity. He sings with such pastoral calm, in fact, that nuanced emotional details can become lost within the beautiful simplicity of his sparse acoustic tunes. Grand Forks, the songwriter's sixth release in as many years, is thus well-served by its broader accompaniment. Brosseau takes a Guthrie-esque turn back to his North Dakota hometown, commemorating the devastating 1997 flood through the subtle minutia of survival. That said, Grand Forks is surprisingly uplifting, celebrating resilience rather than disaster, especially on lilting opener "I Fly Wherever I Go." Most exquisite is "Blue Part of the Windshield," with Hilary Hahn's sublime violin uncannily mirroring Brosseau's stretching falsetto. In Brosseau's songs, where so much depends on the slightest quiver of a note, Grand Forks is undoubtedly his best work to date. (Thursday, March 15, Central Presbyterian Church, 10:30pm)

***.5

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