Last Friday I received a text requesting me to come to the instore gig in Vanderveen. Bobby Long was going to play a few songs promoting his new album and the upcoming gigs. As it was a nice stop in between my way to the train station for an event later that afternoon I stopped by the store. Only to hear that gig would start a little later as Bobby got held up on his way to the store (he was coming in from Frankfurt I believe and that is quite a bit of a drive). No matter, only 15 to 20 minutes after the announced time Bobby did get up on the little stage in the store.
Bobby Long is a singer-songwriter, in the americana-folky style with a bit of a rough edge on his voice. I feld a very young Bruce Springsteen. There’s potential to a bit of rock in the songs. Bobby was playing solo now, however with band I think it will all burst out. There’s also a few good ballads there and as the store played the album after his concert I could hear my thought on the band being answered.
The Alternate Root By Bill Hurley Posted September 29, 2015
Bobby Long topped off his 24-city U.S. tour in support of his "Ode to Thinking" album by taping his first appearance on The Alternate Root TV program at the Fallout Shelter in Norwood, MA yesterday. Producer Bill Hurley said of him after the taping, which will air in December: He's a gem...very inspiring and well evolved and one of the best songwriters I've heard in years.
Little did he know, but when British folk-based artist Bobby Long first started writing a song called “Ode to Thinking,” it would end up as the title track of his third full album. After working on the next four songs, the singer-songwriter-guitarist noticed the project starting to gel and that “the whole record was a lot more personal than any record I have written.” A sturdy grouping of 11 original tunes, the finished product consistently delivers at a high level. Expect melodies led by strong acoustic guitar playing and often interesting lyrics delivered along with a solid voice that comes with an easy-to-listen-to rangy growl. The haunting and poignant song “Ode to Thinking,” for instance, focuses on his becoming more aware of the world’s social and political issues and includes the lyrics: “We’ve unchained a monster in an empty wishing well.” “The Song The Kids Sing” brings a tune that will resonate with many, as it spotlights fear. In this case, Long and his friends feared growing up in a small town with no promise and never being able to get out.
Then there’s “1985,” named after the artist’s birth year. Dealing with “real love,” much of its inspiration came from trying to write a song that John Lennon might pen, although in his humble manner Long said, “I obviously did not get anywhere near it.” That’s debatable. Long places Bob Dylan on his personal musical Mt. Rushmore. Noting Dylan’s body of work and his ability to “floor you with simplicity a lot of the time,” the musician strives to be his own artist, of course, but one aspect of the superstar’s style that he hopes to regularly emulate is “capturing the moment.” The talented British artist snags many a moment and does it with ease. The Ode concert tour stretches until November, with shows in Europe and the U.K. sandwiched between several U.S. gigs. Looks like Long reached one of his main goals to date and got out of his small town to see the world.
Der Singer-Songwriter Bobby Long kommt mit neuem Album auf Tour
(...) Mit Anfang 20 hatte BOBBY LONG Long bereits eine Tiefe und ausdrucksstarke Ehrlichkeit in seiner Musik und seinen Texten, sowie eine Reife und Stärke in der unvergleichlich rauchigen Stimme, dass er besonders echte Musikliebhaber von seiner einzigartigen Klasse überzeugen konnte.
Nun verfolgt der Brite BOBBY LONG, den es mittlerweile nach New York verschlagen hat und um den es nach dem Hype glücklicherweise ein wenig ruhiger geworden ist, mit der Veröffentlichung seines neuen Albums neue Ziele.
Mit seinem dritten Album „Ode To Thinking“ im Gepäck, welches er dank einer sehr erfolgreiche Crowdfunding Kampagne finanzierne konnte, kommt der 29jährige nach über zwei Jahren Abwesenheit nun endlich wieder nach Deutschland. BOBBY LONG live ist virtuoses Gitarrenspiel und die fesselnde Performance einer „alten Seele“ im Körper eines jungen Mannes, der musikalisch erwachsen geworden ist.
Was man dafür braucht? … eine Gitarre, robuste Songs und seine einzigartig traurige Stimme – genau das, was man sich für den nahenden Herbst bzw. Winter wünscht!
Bobby Long è un cantautore inglese di talento con alle spalle una lunga e serrata gavetta, fatta di autoproduzioni e concerti in tutta Europa, a coronamento della quale qualche anno fa si è segnalato al grande pubblico per la partecipazione alla colonna sonora di “Twilight” e l’ottimo “Wishbone”, pubblicato con la ATO negli States. A due anni di distanza da quest’ultimo, lo ritroviamo con “Ode To Thinking”, terzo disco in carriera frutto di una fortunata campagna di fundrising su Pledgemusic, e nel quale ha raccolto undici brani incisi ad Austin con la produzione di Mark Hallman. Rispetto ai precedenti lavori, il cantautore di Manchester dimostra ampiamente di aver raggiunto la sua piena maturità artistica, proponendo un songwriting di grande spessore poetico, avvolto da sonorità che mescolano pop e rock, sapientemente costruite attraverso tessiture melodiche acustiche. Ad aprire il disco è la splendida title-track, tutta giocata su un arpeggio che rimanda al Bob Dylan degli anni Sessanta, a cui seguono la dolce ballad “Cold Hearted Lover Of Mine e l’orecchiabile divagazione pop-rock con l’elettroacustica “I'm Not Going Out Tonight”, vicina alle atmosfere dei Wallflowers. Se l’elegante country-soul di “Treat Me Like a Stranger” ed il blues di “Kill Someone” dimostrano come Bobby Long si riesca a destreggiare attraverso la tradizione americana con grande abilità, le ballad “Something Blue, Something Borrowed” e “Hideaway” rivelano il lato più poetico del suo songwriting. Il vertice del disco arriva però verso il finale con lo splendido crescendo denso di lirismo di “The Dark Won’t Get Darker”, le gustose “The Songs The Kids Sing” e “1985”. Il folk intimista di “That Little Place” chiude un ottimo disco che rappresenterà certamente uno snodo importante per la carriera di Bobby Long, artista ormai pronto per il grande salto verso il successo.
"Ode To Thinking" is one of those albums that wouldn't have seen the light of day had it not been for a pledge music which in its own way is a great endorsement of Bobby Long's songwriting in that it was inspiring enough to encourage people to put had in pocket and back him.
Bobby Long is a new name to me, primarily because he's a resident of Austin, though actually born in Wigan and grew up in England and since migrating from these shores, has so far only made a handful of appearances on this side of the pond, but those dates do include an appearance on the Acoustic Stage, backed by English band, The Ghosts, but don't worry if, like me, you missed it, he's back for a few select dates in November.
There are, I guess, two main focuses in the sound, folk and Americana, but occasionally you can feel a pop sensibility come through which helps give some of the songs, "Treat Me like A Stranger" for example a more radio friendly appeal, but not in a way that compromises the song against the background of the album.
I wasn't surprised to discover that a song he co-wrote with Marcus Foster made it into Twilight franchise a few years back as there is a natural fluidity to his writing that seems to make his songs accessible. That's not to say he steers away from darker themes as "Kill Someone" will attest, more that he has the talent to get you into his songs and feeling like you're in the story. It means that the album doesn't fall into the easily heard, easily forgotten position. In fact if the songs were slightly less country you could almost put "Ode To Thinking" as an American Song Book album.
It's funny as I was listening there were a couple of times that I found myself thinking X could do a great version of that or Y would feel at home with that, only to remind myself that Bobby Long is already doing cracking versions, so take a chance to check it out, get yourself familiar with the man and his songs.
The latest edition of Acoustic Asheville features New York-based singer-songwriter Bobby Long, who was at The Grey Eagle recently to promote his latest record, Ode to Thinking. Long played two songs exclusively for Xpress including the title track.