“I can’t forget
And forgiveness has yet
to come to the forefront
of my thought process.” – Broken Promises
Let me get your first question out of the way. Yes. Bobby Bookout is his real name (well... it’s Robert). Bookout is a powerhouse of a singer. He’s got a Jason Mraz-meets-Maroon 5 voice that is easy to listen to. He’s also assembled some great players talent to perform on his self-titled debut release. Folks I’m familiar with like Jose Galeano (Grupo Fantasma), Brannen Temple, Chris Maresh, Keenan LeVick and Kasi Painter to name a few.
Bookout is also no slouch at writing. He penned the bulk of the songs and they are as complex lyrically as the wonderful music each track features. And each of the 14 tracks on this release has a unique feel from ballad to blues from acoustic to electric. Perfect to showcase his vocals.
The first three tracks seem to set the pace for the album. Each is a big musical departure. The album kicks off with the U2esque “Never Say Goodnight” then kicks into “Remedy,” a song that reminds me of “Smooth” (the Santana/Rob Thomas song). Third up is the stripped down acoustic heartbreak ballad “Meant To Be.”
Bookout gives a shoutout to the town he’s called home since 2007 in “Austin.” He plays with loops and layers with the rocker “The Best Is Yet To Come.” “Tanjentz” is a mid-paced bluesy jam about love that strikes like a match. Songs like “Broken Promises” and “Last Words” are slow ballads that remind me of Austin’s The Will Evans Project.
Although each song seems to flow in a different direction, it is apparent that it all comes from the same source. Bookout has delivered a mighty good hour-long listen in this debut.
And this album has been a long time coming for Bookout. He spent about a decade in the military (listen to “Guns Drawn” for a bit on that), a few years getting a commercial music degree, and at least 3 years working on the recording of this album. His patience pays off here. This is a really good first effort.
He held his CD release party at The Dirty Dog in Austin on June 13. I have yet to catch him live, but I am checking my calendar to see when I’ll be able to do so.
Looks like the next opportunity to catch him live is on Friday August 20 at One-2-One Bar. For more information about Bobby Bookout, visit his Website - http://www.bobbybookout.com/