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Music Review - `Til the Wheels Fall Off` by Bruce Smith (lz)

Bruce Smith - ‘Til the Wheels Fall Off    (click on image to watch video)

03 March 2019



From the first notes of his especially exceptional album, Til the Wheels Fall Off -- his third full- length outing to date -- Bruce Smith proves his credence as a journeyman rocker with the level of conviction needed to garner a growing grassroots following. A solid singer/songwriter boasting a rootsy regimen, he reflects the same sort of blue-collar roots shared by other

Everyman heroes when it comes to effectively form an immediate connection. Indeed, he makes a convincing case that like others of his ilk -- Springsteen and Mellencamp in particular --he’s a triumphant troubadour capable of translating his down-home demeanor into a solid, stoic, anthemic sound, flush with both passion and purpose. To Smith’s credit, that quality is as evident in a heartfelt narrative like “‘59 Stratocaster” as it is in the relentless Jerry Lee Lewis-style rocker “Longbranch Inn,” the doggedly determined “Terry the Texas Tornado” and the down-home delivery of “Cowboy Up.” It’s instantly apparent that Smith remains fully capable of rocking relentlessly, even while evoking imagery ideally suited to heartland happenstance. The solid surge of the title track reflects a certain drive and defiance but also make it apparent that he has no need for posturing or pretense, His dry, Dylanesque delivery on the heart worn ballad “Elizabeth & Spring” testifies to that notion, and when here reflects the unrepentant attitude and urgency that echoes through opening track “30 Days,” it’s clear he’s found some solid standing.

Suffice it to say that regardless of tone or tempo, Smith possesses a clear conviction that furnishes each of these ten tracks with an immediate embrace. It’s a riveting, relentless sound that comes across in every one of these resilient refrains and compelling choruses. It’s also a measure of Smith’s assurance and authority that the album carries the emphatic impact that’s so prevalent throughout. Hopefully, his wheels will continue to spin for some time to come.


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman







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