Brian left Aotearoa some 40 years ago to find fame and fortune in Australia, and after a successful recording and touring career he has now returned home, setting up a studio and settling in an off-the-grid permaculture farm north of Auckland. His long-time sparring buddy Eddie Rayner ({Split Enz}, {Crowded House}) has provided tips and critique on this his new single, but multi-instrumentalist Brian not only produced this, but provided all the instrumentation and vocals. It commences with just some guitars providing the lick, repeating it a few times before allowing Brian to start singing. Right from the off the listener finds themselves with a smile on their face as not only is this a classic blues/country style song, but there is just so much space within the arrangement. Some artists find it necessary to ram instruments and effects into every track, which not only makes it difficult to hear all that is going on, but also removes the space and smothers the music. Music needs room to breathe, and here it is provided in spades, which allows everything to gel and really come alive.

There is a groove here, and when Brian brings in the rhythm section, it accentuates the space and never rushes in to fill it. The bridge is superb, fitting in so well, while that repeated lick keeps returning time and again. This sounds more like a song from an established American artist than someone from our part of the world, and it continues to develop with mass vocals and some wonderfully restrained guitar overlays. It is delicate, refined, and a great example of how a musician can relax into a song and provide some incredible ambience without ever forcing the issue. He plays with both tempo and arrangement, providing wonderful contrast and dynamics which lifts this to another level. Let’s hope it is not too long until the album.

Rating: 10/10