Music > Scorpio and Me > Scorpio and Me Reviews > Valere Sampermans, Rootstime, January 2011 (Belgium) Tuesday, 16. July 2019, 22:56

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Valere Sampermans, Rootstime, January 2011 (Belgium)

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Valere Sampermans, Rootstime, January 2011 (Belgium) 

Bennett Brier – Scorpio And Me 

An album every ten years is how often we get a new work by songwriter Bennett Brier out on the market.  In 1999 he released his first album titled "Anthem" and at the end of 2010, Bennett released a successor titled "Scorpio And Me".

The Beaumont, Texas-born composer has lived for some time in Austin, Texas.  Over the past 30+ years he wrote more than 150 songs and became a member of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).   His compositions reflect that, at an early age, he was inspired by the poetic power and timelessness of the songs of Bob Dylan.

Bennett Brier’s songs tend to mostly lean to the contemporary folk scene but subtle elements of blues, country, rock and pop music are never far away. The most striking characteristic on his albums is that he does not sing or play his songs.  Rather he leaves them in the hands of talented musicians and singers.  On his first album these musicians included Christine Albert, Richard Bowden, Joe "King" Carrasco, Jay Sims and his daughter Jessica.

On the new album "Scorpio And Me", a collection of 14 songs written by Bennett Brier, his songs are all sung by the successful Texan singer-songwriter Jay Sims - who also produced the album.  The instrumental accompaniment is exclusively acoustic guitar by Mr. Sims and Stephen Doster.  This is a very basic album with simple music focused on the lyrics.

It is a collection of highly listenable songs with meaningful lyrics and excellent vocal work from Mr. Sims, whose voice reminded us of Neil Diamond’s.  Our favorite songs are the title track "Scorpio And Me ', the wonderful "Harijan" (Hindustani term meaning "children of God”), the emotive "Free Your Little Boy", a story on the loneliness after the breakdown of a love affair told in "Harsh Unto My Eyes", the intimate love song "Right Time  Forever", the hopeful "Baby, You'll Only Do Good" and the beautifully sung outlet "Joined Unto Thee".

One slight problem for us was that there is too little variation in song styles.  Many of the songs sound so alike and threaten to start sounding monotonous.  But the songs themselves are individually musical gems.  We therefore prefer to pick out some songs to play instead of the whole CD.  But talented poet and composer Bennett Brier found in Jay Sims a singer who brought the right expression and emotion to these songs.  This is a real achievement for both men.

(Valsam)