A longtime hometown favorite in Austin, Bruce Robison's songs-No. 1 hits like "Angry All the Time" (Faith Hill & Tim McGraw), "Travelin' Soldier" (Dixie Chicks) and "Wrapped" (George Strait) and another Top 5 hit with Strait's version of "Desperately,"-have worked their way indelibly into the American consciousness. Real songwriters know that it's not about how many units you move so much as whether people sing your songs to themselves when they're alone. By either standard, Robison is among the first rank of Texas-and, by extension, American-songwriters.
Like the good Bandera, Texas, small-town boy he is, Robison is always quick to give props to his family. But it's pretty easy to be inspired by the folks around the dinner table when your wife is a much-admired alt-country thrush (Kelly Willis) and your brother is a red-hot singer/songwriter in his own right (Charlie Robison). Never mind the rest of Texas; just being the best songwriter at a Robison family outing would be a notable distinction.
Since his self-titled debut album in 1995, listeners have been moved by Robison's insightful storytelling. In his clear-eyed, deeply felt songs, Robison does what great songwriters have always done: he takes the reality that surrounds us every day and makes it new again. Faded, careworn lives turn out to be rich with meaning when looked at from a slightly different angle, if you'll just take the time . . . and Robison takes the time. The results are heartbreaking, hilarious, sweet, and stirring, as these songs confirm after even one listen.
Robison's work is included on several compilations, including 1995's Austin Country Nights: Rising Stars from the Heart of Texas collection and True Sounds of the New West. Robison doesn't require introductions anymore. He's made himself heard in the hearts of people across the country, and his place in our national musical history is secure.
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