Tom Brosseau’s fifth release is a thematic tribute to the Grand Forks, N.D., which flooded in April 1997, displacing some 60,000 residents; 10 years later, Brosseau mourns for his hometown’s suffering while celebrating its elasticity.
It’s an honorable effort, and his heart is in the right place. If only it weren’t so understated. One would expect a work of real, angry power. Instead, his indie-folk approach is sparse and quiet. To be fair, it’s the same kind of no-frills, workin’ man balladry Woody Guthrie once used to eulogize the Dust Bowl, but one can’t help but feel a bit shortchanged in the emotional-release department.
– Rod Lott