Bruce Piephoff,
Fools Get Away
With the Impossible

(Flyin' Cloud, 2006)

Once again Bruce Piephoff has produced a very interesting and listenable album. Ranging through 16 tracks, he introduces us to a real America with lyrics that are easily wedded to his gentle delivery.

There is a certain strain of philosophy in that title track if we sit back and consider it. But Bruce is a true troubadour in the best possible sense. He sings stories and draws the listener into other worlds. This is most in evidence on "Grandpa," a wonderful life story in four minutes with music.

The guitar and harmonica remind us of the singers of the 1960s who defined an era. Piephoff may just be the man to use the same combination to define the 21st century's early decade with songs like "Raymond," but he also refers back with powerful songs like "Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood" reminding us of the sad truth of conflict that is so true to that title.

This is a "life affirming" album with songs and lyrics to touch the heart but also the mind. This is exemplified with the excellent track, "The Good that Runs Through Man."

As with so many such releases he is at the mercy of the radio waves or the number of live performances he can undertake. There are songs on this CD a hundred times better than some of the rubbish that saturate radios, but how many will get to hear them? Of those, how many will appreciate the sentiments?

We need writers and singers like this who battle on against the odds to express lives in lyrics and chords.

by Nicky Rossiter
3 February 2007