I’m sure most of our readers do not know who Philip Bradatsch is, but when I drop the name “The Dinosaur Truckers” I know heads will turn and people go… “what about them, that band is awesome!!! Are they playing near by?” Philip is the tall, skinny blond guy with the hat, playing banjo and singing most of their songs. Now you know who I’m talking about? Yeah, THAT GUY!
Philip made a solo album, and it really is a solo album. He played every instrument, wrote all the songs, did what he wanted to do and made it perfect! If, after reading this review you don’t want to buy this album, I have no idea what you’re doing here. This is not “The Dinosaur Truckers Light”, this is Philip’s album, these are his songs and his feelings.
One name came to mind when first listening to this album, Townes Van Zandt. And to be honest, it keeps coming back every time I listen to it. I’ve been playing Townes’ songs for the last week along with Philip’s to see if I’m wrong, but I’m not. He didn’t make an easy ripoff, let that be clear. It feels like Philip used an old Ouija board, summoned the ghost of Townes and asked him to write an album together. It’s this good!
By now you should know this is not a party record, far from it… These songs are to be listened to all alone, accompanied with a glass of good red wine or whisky. Alone with your thoughts, reminiscing the events that took place in your life. When I was listening to the title song “When I’m Cruel” I felt like this song was written for me personally. I can be an asshole to the one that stands closest to me and sadly she has to take the shitstorm most of the time when I feel bad. This song is like an apology to that one person I love with all my heart. I am sorry…
For the love of (whatever), please do not label this album as a singer/songwriter album, because it’s so much more than that. Just listen to a song like “Down By The Gallows”, this could be a “traditional” passed along generations on, and yet it isn’t. I do hope that musicians to come will play this song and tell stories about how they first heard this and now pay tribute to it.
Two songs after the aforementioned “When I’m Cruel” the album almost comes to an end, but not before Philip drops another emotional bomb in the form of “Mudhole”. The song tells the story of a man on the edge, ready to end his life, he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to blame but himself. The sad picking of the strings in the beginning of the song sets the mood and you feel a darkness coming. The little hope you have for the man is soon washed away and by the end you feel lost and in despair. Yes folks, songs like this are still being made and Mister Bradatsch is a craftsman.
Philip will be on tour with James Hunnicutt in Europe in June and July, make sure to go see them and buy this album. Also check out “The Dinosaur Truckers”.