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Brothers of the Dirt

Brandon Jenkins

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Album Review

With his shaved head, full beard, gold earring, and arms full of tattoos, Brandon Jenkins looks more like an outlaw biker than a country singer, but a country singer is what he is. He's one of the artists associated with the Red Dirt movement of Oklahoma, a genre of country music that also draws on rock, blues, swing, and honky tonk, often with a radical political edge that would be anathema to many mainstream Nashville artists. The Oklahoma-born, Austin, TX-based musician lives for the road and his endless touring helped him develop a razor-sharp guitar sound and a booming vocal style that can cut through the noise of a Saturday night barroom. Brothers of the Dirt is dedicated to Bob Childers, the songwriter credited with founding the Red Dirt Movement, and it's full of the blood-and-guts songwriting that has made Jenkins legendary in the Texas/Oklahoma area. The anti-Iraq war tune "Blood for Oil" opens the album with a bang, indicting America for its dependence on foreign oil and questioning the death of average guys for the profit of the big corporations. Jenkins growls his protest while his clanging guitar sounds the alarm. "Marching Toward the Guns" is a country-blues with a jubilant fatalism that pays tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. "Out of Babylon" borrows Biblical (and Rastafarian) imagery for another apocalyptic lament. Jenkins is also adept at old-fashioned, apolitical country tunes. "White Van Blues" is the hard luck tale of a touring musician full of hyperbolic humor, driven by Jenkins' screaming guitar and Jesse Frost's powerhouse drumming. Jenkins drinks away the memory of a broken relationship on "Hearts Don't Break Even," a weeper with a strong R&B-meets-country melody and a wrenching vocal. "Ricardo's Cadillac" shows off the band's acoustic side, with a nostalgic look back at young men growing up, illegally drinking beer, and having sex in the back of a friend's Cadillac., Rovi


Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Having played in and around his native Oklahoma for years, singer/songwriter Brandon Jenkins has slowly but steadily created a following for his earthy, rootsy, no-nonsense approach to country music. In 1998, the singer released his Ghost of Jesse James album on Remorseless Records. His career reached another level when a song of his was featured on Peter Anderson's Country West of Nashville compilation. From that came an Emerging Artists in Music Award. In 2001, Jenkins released...
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Brothers of the Dirt, Brandon Jenkins
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