I’ll be the first person to say that most modern country music does nothing for me at all. That was, until I heard singer/songwriters like Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keene, and bands like the Jayhawks and Whiskeytown. San Francisco native Richard Buckner has a similar style that appeals strongly to fans of traditional rock and alternative music. Buckner’s debut album, Bloomed , originally released in 1995, has been re-released with the addition of five bonus tracks. This album is very melancholy, with Buckner somberly singing songs he wrote about dealing with loss and coping with a broken heart. “22” is the pinnacle of his dispirited song-writing, describing suicide because of a love not returning his call; “The towel was lying open/ And it didn’t hurt so bad/ There was red smoke in the water/ And all the things we had.” This is an excellent recording with beautiful performances of lap steel, acoustic slide, and acoustic guitar. Since recording Bloomed , Buckner has released two other albums, Devotion and Doubt in 1997 and Since in 1998.
Slow River Records, Shetland Park, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970; http://www.slowriver.com