CD REVIEW: Dan Bruder Band - Act of Kindness
By Cyrus Rhodes - 08/26/2010 - 02:31 PM EDT
Artist: Dan Bruder Band
Album: Act of Kindness
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Progressive Rock/Jam band
Sounds Like: Eagles, Peter Frampton, Grand Funk Railroad, Santana
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Act of Kindness, Bulldogs
Weakness: Needs a bit more vocal moxy, & emotion
Dan Bruder is no stranger to the music business. He is a well-known performer especially around New Jersey area predominantly back in the 1980’s. Over the years he won praise & support from folks like Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren & Edgar Winter before going into musical seclusion. Now he is back with this release entitled: “Act of Kindness” According to Bruder. the passion & desire never died as I grew older & wiser.
Logging in at just over 40 minutes the CD takes to flight with “Forever Soldier” a nicely flowing rock-blues intro piece that serves up steady rock groove, sizzling guitar, & hooky harmonies & vocal accents from Bruder. Track 2 “Song for a Lucky Man” serves up driving rock rhythms against impressive Hammond Organ chops & impressive bluesy-type guitar riffs. Track 3; the title track: “Act of Kindness” lets it all hang out with sizzling solo guitar, no holes barred jam segments, & lyrical content packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom that will stop & make you think. The CD makes a pretty solid first impression dishing out 3 impressive tracks back to back. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic late seventies jam band with musical textures reminiscent of Peter Frampton, Grand Funk Railroad, Santana .& even the Eagles. Right from the start you will notice that Bruder definitely knows how to bring the band. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write, & play there parts extremely well in classic Jam Band form. Beside the 4 piece standard delivery you will also notice lush layers of instrumentation layered along the way with impressive saxophone, violin, & piano accents to boot. I would classify this music as classic blues-rock with a late seventies jam band aftertaste. There is definitely a New Jersey vibe to this CD as well as you will catch brief flashes of classic Bon Jovi, & Bruce Springsteen. The songs themselves are addictive, & upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter. Bruder’s voice works well across the board & at times will remind you of Joe Walsh, Eddie Money & Tom Petty. But Bruder's voice stands on its own & transcends any stereotypical pigeonholing. All songs are short & sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. From sizzling “Never Feel Alone” to passionate “One with Time” & “Silent Back” to grooving “One With Time” & “Bulldogs” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone.
It’s hard to find any real weaknesses when listening to this CD. True to form some of the Intros, outros are a bit winded. & a few pieces need a trimming. But hey that’s Classic Jam band so I can’t really hit that can I? But if I could say anything to Dan Bruder right now it would be let it hang out just a little bit more vocally on some of your songs. When the occasion calls for it be a little more passionate during the finales, & a little more crazier during some of the more rowdier moments. At the end of the day I wish Bruder just took more vocal risks showcasing more moxy, recklessness, & raw emotion. When those vocal risks are properly executed it can be like capturing lighting in a bottle, & is pure magic. Do this & your fans will follow you around the planet.
“Act of Kindness” is an impressive musical production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – the rock solid song for song consistency, & amazing musical chops from Bruder & his band. The music is clean, goes down smooth & Is just a fun to listen to. The Dan Bruder Band definitely knows how to deliver some truly amazing cops, & jam segments that will make you head spin. Many of the messages are sung from a deeply honest perspective, & after spending 40 minutes with Dan Bruder you definitely know who he is, & where he’s coming from as an artist. I think I know why Dan Bruder is so popular in the New Jersey area? He possesses enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. So if you want a classic blues-rock catalogue that lets it all hang out with amazing music that has a late seventies jam band aftertaste, then I strongly recommend you jump head first into "Act of Kindness" by the Dan Bruder Band.
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