Michael Braunfeld- Driver review

Michael Braunfeld Driver www.MichaelBraunfeld.com Blind Justice Music

There are days when I figure I am done being gob smacked: heard it all, have I.

And then comes the day you (finally—sorry) open that CD that has been sitting on a pile for more than a month awaiting listening and review.

Every single night is your last stand,
And you can’t even bare to breathe.

Gob smacked.

The singer-songwriter is Michael Braunfeld, and if you’ve never heard of him, don’t feel bad—I was right there beside you a week ago.

Driver is a massive achievement, the type that doesn’t often surface without fanfare.

Braunfeld is a stunning singer in the Darrell Scott vein. His songwriting is also of that world, real stories of every day folks caught in hard truths and exceptional circumstance.

The blues ain’t nothing but some colour,
I’ve been green and I’ve seen red.
But they can get you like no other,
Leave you wishing you were dead.

-“The Blues Ain’t Nothin’

What is it like listening to Driver? Braunfeld is singing, and he lays out a just perfect lyric, one that makes time stop just for a moment…and then 45 seconds later, he slays with an even more impressive couplet.

His phrasing is key, slowing things down just a titch here or there, placing a hint of anguish into the conclusion of a verse. Masterful.

Who is this guy, and why haven’t I noticed his name?

This town’s got nothing on which to borrow
Good old days are good and gone
This town will still be here tomorrow
But I’m packing up my things and moving on.
-“This Town”

Braunfeld’s reality is in front of us, every time we move outside our comfort zone. He knows we would prefer the happy ending, but that would make for piss-poor songwriting. Like Chris Knight, Braunfeld writes anthems for those of us who can’t.

Folks are looking for a savior to come-on back around
In a world where truth is hardly ever found.

Driver is comprised of thirteen songs, songs that freeze us in time. We’ll remember the first time we heard them, recall what we felt as we let his melodic poetry waft through us, become part of us.

We teach our kids it ain’t a sin to be poor,
You work hard you stay afloat,
But it ain’t easy when the wolves are at your door,
And the devil’s got your throat.

              -“40 Below”

There are spare folk songs, and there are also full-on band moments, songs close to rock and roll, but more favouring unadorned country.

Dogs and cats, storms and neighbours, unasked questions and aging bartenders, crumbling towns and first love. The stuff of every song the last hundred years, entirely fresh and new.

Sing a song that meant something to ya
Once long ago.

              -“A Winter’s Wish”

Michael Braunfeld. Driver. He gets it, and may know more than we do. You’ll enjoy this album. You may also be gob smacked. And we all need that, once in a while.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s