Music > Scorpio and Me > Scorpio and Me Reviews > Leo van Bergen, draft review for Rootstime, January 2011, (Belgium) Friday, 18. October 2019, 09:14

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Leo van Bergen, draft review for Rootstime, January 2011, (Belgium)

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Leo van Bergen, draft review for Rootstime, January 2011 (Belgium) 

Bennett Brier – Scorpio And Me 

From Austin, Texas comes songwriter Bennett Brier (he was born in Beaumont, Texas and spent his childhood in Houston).  When he was 17 years old, Bennett was inspired to learn guitar and write songs by his idol Bob Dylan.

At the end of last year Bennett released only his second album with "Scorpio and Me" (after his 1999 debut album "Anthem").  The special thing about this album is that Bennett does not perform on it.  He wrote all 14 songs - but the numbers are performed by his good friends Jay Sims (vocals, guitar and producer) and Stephen Doster (lead guitar and background vocals).  Jay Sims has two CDs under his own name and in 2009 was nominated as "Male Vocalist Of The Year" at the Texas Music Awards.  Guitarist Stephen Doster's songs have been recorded by great artists such as Dr. John and Willie Nelson.  He has collaborated with include Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett and Charlie Sexton.  Stephen Doster released a CD in 2010 that he made with Bill Carter and Will Sexton.

Jay Sims, who also played on Bennett’s first album, has a pleasant, slightly husky voice that perfectly fits the narrative of the songs.  The title track "Scorpio And Me" is instantly one of the highlights: a handsome, sensitive folk-rock song. The production of Jay Sims is crystal clear and so is the flawless guitar playing of Stephen Doster.  Unfortunately, the level of the title song is not maintained: the drawn-out "Anna Tennilee" is too wordy and babbles on, as does "Harsh Unto My Eyes".  Too many songs on the CD have the same rhythm and structure and are interchangeable.  it's difficult to keep full attention during a few songs.

Bennett Brier proves, however, that he can write beautiful songs: "Harijan" with its subtle guitar lines is downright handsome; "Right Time Forever" and certainly "Outside My Window", with beautiful guitar playing, are his two best songs.

Bennett deserves the attention of lovers of folk-rock songs.  Bennett Brier, who has been a songwriter for more than 30 years active and has written about 150 songs, proves that he has mastered the art.  If he adds some more variety to his songs, his next CD will be a winner.

Lou