By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The new, self-titled album from Darryl Lee Rush is the portrait of a storyteller finding a new way to say things. It's not that Rush has reinvented himself with his new album; it's just that he's tweaked a few things to appropriately highlight the strengths of his music.
While the strongest tracks of Rush's two previous albums were catchy country-rock sing-alongs, the new album's strong suit is its grown-up ability to keep it all quite real while sounding great, even when the reality isn't so rosy. Rush has always excelled in wrapping down-and-out characters into subversively peppy arrangements, but here the individual dramas that unfold are the true stars of the show, even though Rush's longtime band is spot-on throughout the record's 11 cuts.
In the case of "Burn it Down," only a man with a wealth of experience, both positive and negative, could convincingly sing, "Sometimes love and anger just go together/that's when you can't let indifference get the final word." Rush's writing avoids all easy exits in order to cut into the truthful core of the story he's telling in each tune.
Turns out, honesty is the best policy.