A fixture on the Texas scene, Brandon Rhyder returns after a self-imposed hiatus with his first new album in four years on July 14th. The project, produced by friend and mentor Walt Wilkins, finds Rhyder firmly focused on life's centerpieces: interpersonal relationships, family, and love.
The ten-track eponymous collection begins with Michael Hearn’s “Evergreen,” a gentle poetic proclamation to let go of the little things, "I don't mind things that don't matter these days/Time I spend on worry never pays," and continues with “The Way They Need Each Other,” a collaboration written and performed with singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, that is a touching ode to Rhyder’s wife and more universally to commitment and partnership. Brimming with honesty and emotion, the album also includes the insightful “Shake,” the island-flavored, dreamy and romantic “Let’s Blow Off Monday,” and the introspective steel-laden ballad “No Time For That” which focuses on not the importance of self-worth. Rhyder recounts the traditions of his youth (and continuing them with his children) on the fiddle-accented, bluesy “The Huntin’ Song” and exudes a positivity on “Good Morning Sunshine" before rounding things out with the charming “Half The Time I’m Crazy” (on which Rhyder teams once again with McKenna), “I Hate This Town” (co-written with Keith Gattis) and closer “C’mon Baby Hold On” a tune about being present for your significant other that features Bri Bagwell.
Rhyder's latest is a melodically serene, yet uplifting portrait of a man who, through experience and maturity, finds himself grateful, accepting, and blessed. A good spot to be in indeed.