Webb: Broken Folk
By: Sara Zeno
Like looking into a cracked
mirror and seeing infinite versions of self, Brian
Webb's Broken Folk peers into the many-faceted soul of
love and relationships. Every shard is different, yet none any less
genuine than others.
From the distinctive
percussive guitar style of the opening track Shame, to the
hushed echoes of the closing Not a Confession, Webb investigates
the most human of topics with sedate and moving charm. His songs
point out that, whatever the end result, the journey of love is
tough. At times, the listener can almost see demons at work; others,
the insight of wisdom gained by experience.
Webb's voice and music
mesh perfectly, creating unique moods for each track. The resonance
of violin and mandolin work particularly well on Walk Alone,
with their melancholy sound matching the song's muted hope: Just
start walking in the morning / And see if we wind up together /
I want you to live without regard for me / In the end I think that's
better / Just start walking in the morning / And find we walk alone
There's a good amount
of learned understanding here, as in the stark Talk To You:
You search for love / You search for happiness, come to find,
there is a difference / Search for wisdom / Search for truth / You
find quiet / Maybe it finds you. There's also some astute, wry
advice, as with Martha: It's not some kind of contest
/ That says in the end, if you love someone the most / You will
get to keep them.
The catchy melody of
Long Way To Go carries the lyrics forward forcefully, giving
the impression of healthy movement even during conflict: I believe/
You gotta live like you are loved / And I believe / I've got a long
way to go / Before I can love you right. All the musicians are
dead on, creating a textured melody with plenty of brass.
In the end, Webb's strikingly
honest, soul-baring music will strike a chord with anyone who has
ever embraced the desperate yearnings of life. It stays with your
heart long after Broken Folk goes quiet.