Upon first listen I am drawn to the level of musicianship on display from Steve Bonham and The Long Road. From the opening track Ballad of Duane and Billy Marie, where they utilise every aspect of the acoustic guitar including the harmonics, to the closing track, Western Requiem with the delicate piano cutting through the bright chords strummed on the guitar – it’s well arranged.
The harmonies too are a real selling point of this record whilst lyrically it is born out of adventure with songs such as Interstate 25 and American Wilderness written about real stories Bonham heard whilst travelling around the States. The lyrics themselves are very literal and descriptive as they recount the tales of times gone by.
My favourite on the record is the love story Wrapped Up in You which became a hit on UK Country Radio. The track has a simple yet catchy pay-off line and lovely acoustic guitar solo. The group play with their sound a little for the theatrical If There’s A God Out Here, which delves into a darker subject matter, once again influenced by Bonham’s travels.
All in all it’s an intriguing record, there is clear chemistry within the group and the production is sonically pleasing.