BREAKING SOUNDS: Harlan T. Bobo 'I'm Your Man' CD

posted Friday Aug 10th, 2007

The cover art to the new Harlan T. Bobo CD features an illustration from an old physician's catalog that depicts the inner flesh of a man's face, and the skinless and exposed head poised with his chin slightly tilted back as if it had just received a blow, seems to somehow hint at the music contained within. It's a remarkably fitting cover for the sophomore release titled I'm Your Man, which recently came out on the renowned Memphis label, Goner Records. Looking back through the years of releases Goner has focused on with both of Harlan's albums in mind (Too Much Love, and now I'm Your Man), it's interesting to find out that the modern rock 'n' roll aesthetic they have propogated has fallen on more of the guttural end of the spectrum (think Oblivians, Reatards). The fact that they've moved on to release something that sounds as mellifluous as Mr. Bobo, is a revealing indication of the passion its proprietors have for good, well-crafted music that is honest and inspiring.

Harlan's style of song writing is exposing, introspective, and above all, brilliantly revealing to the trials he has faced though the odd, and often defeating journey of his past relationships, his missteps, and reflective realizations on the choices he has made. His songs suggest a coming-of-age mood that often humorously slips in and out of a wide range of musical styles, of which the results are not too far off from the early Compulsive Gamblers' stuff. You can hear it from the gritty, muffled vocals over blues-oriented guitar, to smart, biting folk digs that recall the same quiet, somber, and fleeting panic that passes through in those times of self-reflection where the residue of one's past catches up with him. Depicting those pensive, melancholy moments of self-realization seems to be what Harlan is best at, and through his craft of storytelling, in the traditional sense of folk music, he strikes chords that are as entertaining as they are moving. You can check out some songs HERE and pick up I'm Your Man on CD directly from Goner here.

Here's a video of Harlan T. Bobo performing the song "Last Step" at his record release party for I'm Your Man in Memphis last month.