by Richard BucknerRichard Buckner


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When it was first released in 1994, Richard Buckner's debut album Bloomed seemed little short of miraculous, a beautifully spare but rich and compelling set of songs about the sweet and bitter sides of love, accompanied by a superb, primarily acoustic ensemble led by producer Lloyd Maines. In retrospect, Bloomed turned out to reveal just one of the many facets of Buckner's musical personality, but if his muse took him many places after this (and continued to guide him in fascinating ways), this still remains one of the most satisfying and engaging albums in his catalog. Buckner's songs on Bloomed dig deep, whether he's pondering the mysteries of love on "Blue and Wonder" and "Mud," or sketching an indelible portrait of a young man succumbing to despair and self-pity on "22," and his wordplay is at once artful and down to earth, and all the more effective for Buckner's strong, burnished voice and thoughtful phrasing; it's hard to imagine another voice putting so much effortless resonance behind lines like "This is where things start going bad," or "Christ, how this life, from mud to miracles, is just the prettiest little burden." Maines and his small crew of musicians (including Butch Hancock on harmonica and longtime Joe Ely sideman Ponty Bone on accordion) give Buckner's songs all the care they deserve, adding to the nuances of the melodies and moods with a master's touch, and Maines' own steel guitar work is especially striking, from the determined drift of "Gauzy Dress in the Sun" to the sharp, howling report of "Rainsquall." The rootsy sound of Bloomed gave way to more ambitious approaches on Devotion + Doubt and Since, but if Buckner wanted to show people just how much he had to offer on his first album, he succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams: Bloomed is about as masterful and confident as debuts can get, and it's a heady joy to hear. [In 2014, in time for the 20th anniversary of its release, Merge Records reissued Bloomed in a special two-disc package, with 11 bonus tracks on disc two. The remastered edition of the original album sounds great, and the bonus disc includes several "lost" songs from the Bloomed era, including "Hutchinson" and "The Worst Way." There are also a few radio recordings that reveal how the songs from the album sounded when Buckner was performing as a solo acoustic act, and the final three tracks document Buckner's short-lived band the Doubters. Anyone who cares about good singing and songwriting needs a copy of Bloomed in their collection, and this deluxe package only adds to the excellence of the original; it's recommended to curious neophytes as well as longtime fans.]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/18/2014
Label: Merge Records
UPC: 0673855035529
catalogNumber: 355
Rank: 109653

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard Buckner   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Butch Hancock   Harmonica
Ponty Bone   Accordion
Joe Carr   Mandolin
Lanny Fiel   Fiddle
Alan Korn   Bass
Lloyd Maines   Banjo,Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Eric Heywood   Pedal Steel Guitar
Paul Comaskey   Drums
Ryan Rosenberg   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Alan Crossland   Engineer
Bradley Kopp   Engineer
Lloyd Maines   Producer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Richard Buckner   Composer,Cover Photo
Kyle Statham   Engineer
Rick Cramer   Paintings
Christopher Williams   Engineer

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