Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band

Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band (Motel Time Music)

Texas Platters

Bruce Robison hasn't released a solo album in almost a decade, but not for lack of productivity. In that time, the local songwriter who authored top country hits "Travelin' Solider" (Dixie Chicks), "Angry All the Time" (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill), and "Wrapped" (George Strait), delivered two excellent duet LPs with wife Kelly Willis and debuted web series The Next Waltz from his studio outside Lockhart. Credit the success of both endeavors with the laid-back, Southwestern ease of the expertly branded Back Porch Band, because Robison has rarely sounded this natural and comfortable. The eponymous effort largely alternates between rowdy honky-tonkers ("Rock & Roll Honky Tonk Ramblin' Man") and beautifully crafted ballads ("Long Time Comin'"), both approaches relaxed yet striking as nestled into the completely analog production. The best takes aren't actually the songwriter's own, but rather his pairing with Jack Ingram for an uptempo roll through Jason Eady and Micky Braun's "Paid My Dues" and lacing Austin songstress Christy Hays' "Lake of Fire" with highway-lonesome fiddle and steel. Although the Who's "Squeezebox" as a roadhouse stomper doesn't add much to the whole, it fits with the informal feel of the project, especially when followed by a tender turn through Damon Bramblett's wistful waltz "The Years." A closing triptych slows in the lingering ache of "Long Shore," light lilt on "Sweet Dreams," and bar stool weeper "Still Doin' Time (in a Honky Tonk Prison)." Inspired, rejuvenated, Bruce Robison is back and he never even left.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Mike & the Moonpies
Steak Night at the Prairie Rose (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Jan. 26, 2018

Texas Platters
The Golden Boys
Better Than Good Times (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 24, 2017

More by Doug Freeman
SXSW Music Review: Keith Urban
Live Shot: Keith Urban
Country superstar’s “Wasted Time”

March 17, 2018

SXSW Music Review: A Tribute to Blaze Foley
Live Shot: Blaze Foley
Ethan Hawke’s film spotlights ATX Eighties grit

March 17, 2018


Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle