Bruce Marshall has been one of my favorite performers ever since I heard him live with the Toy Caldwell Band. He was a member of the TCB from 1989 - 1990 and lent his vocals to many of Toy's classics like "Running Like the Wind" and "Take the Highway" as well as his own "Welcome to the Human Race." He's posted several videos from his days with the TCB at his web site brucemarshall.net. By the way, the TCB version of "Running Like the Wind" is a very cool, a slowed down moody version featuring some very evocative guitar work by Toy and lead vocals by Bruce.
Bruce recently released Restless Soul on ATM Records and it features 15 acoustic tracks. Many are his most requested songs like Angeline. Bruce offers several new tunes as well. Whether new or old, the album is sure to please. I highly recommend it as well as Bruce's other fine CDs including Kalispell, featuring a rousing seven-minute version of "This Ol Cowboy" or "Love the Ride" which features the TCB rarity "Welcome to the Human Race" (Toy on guitar, Tony Heatherly on bass, Bruce on vocals).
The haunting title track kicks of the CD and like all of Bruce's work it's impassioned. He has the ability to paint a clear picture to wherever his songs take you and this one is clearly reflective and definitely inspirational. "Slave to My Senses" is a soulful tune about the the "misplaced" passions and vices that at times can control us. "Sliver of the Moon" takes us on a smooth sail past the point and adventures beyond. Angeline is one of my favorite songs by Bruce and the acoustic version carries with it all of the angst of the original. There's a lot of tasty finger picking on "Impossible Companion" whose lyrics point out "just the same as everyone, we always say how things will be different" but "we cut and run." "Take Back the Night" hits the pain of senseless deaths head on. Bruce has never been afraid to get political and this song is a fine example.
The edginess continues with "Gold," a fervent song about greed and the sins that go with it. The mood lightens up with "Honey Dip" and it's jazziness is infectious. This song would be well served with the backing of a swing band and horns... How about it Bruce? "Calm Before the Storm" takes us on another lyrical journey that only veteran lovers can understand. "Good Things" carries an uplifting message about perseverance and standing tall. Things take a decidedly different turn with "If Dreams Were Money," a song that finds a man struggling with the fact that despite all his hard work monetary wealth hasn't come his way. Relationships are again in the spotlight on the "What We Had Is Gone," a dark tail about a lover scorned. In "Haunts You in the End" Bruce sings about the demons that tend to rear their ugly head just when we'd prefer them not to.
The CD closes out with two instrumentals "Flying Low" and "Crawdad Creek." The former os soft and breezy and the latter comes with a little funk. The whole CD is pleasing from beginning to end. Bruce is one heckuva talent and he has many CDs to choose from. If you're like me, once you give one a ride you'll want to test drive the others as well. They are all worth the time.