steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Crystal Brandt

"Bessie's Last Stand" CD

Mungler Winslowe

Genres: folk pop, singer / songwriter

artist website

Nov 29 - Dec 5 2004

Folky singer/songwriters are a tough type.  There are tons of them, and for every good one, there are hundreds of duds to sort through.  While at first I was a bit skeptical, I rapidly warmed up to Crystal Brandt's Bessie's Last Stand - her debut for the Brooklyn-based Mungler Winslowe label.  Limited almost exclusively to guitar, piano, percussion and vocals, Brandt records charming, country-influenced folk-pop tunes that occupy a Dylan-esque mindframe comparable to Badly Drawn Boy's Damon Gough.

The key to this album is its unrelenting accessibility - every song here is pleasant, well-recorded, and positively catchy.  While folk-haters aren't likely to dig it, this should be more or less universally appealing.  Grand successes include "Like Water" and "Pier Side", while the rest of the album occupies a similar space - catchy and endearing pop music, with few moments of mediocrity ("Fire and Brimstone", "No It Doesn't".)  If you haven't heard Crystal Brandt already, consider checking her out.  This type of music has been done before, but be assured it's well worth hearing again (and again).


Fun Fact: There really are no fun facts about Crystal Brandt I could unearth.  Which in itself is a pretty fun fact...

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]