By Neil King
Posted August 26, 2015
"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.