IndiePulse Reviews: It Don’t Get Better Than This by Norm Brunet
“His tunes are exceptional! Substance? Plenty, Hooks? Norm could open his own tackle shop!” Susan Beyer – The Ottawa Citizen.
In Review: It Don’t Get Better Than This by Norm Brunet is an amazing album, it is full bodies and both sweet and savory, like a fine wine it has everything you cold want in an album that is both touching and insightful. It Don’t Get Better Than This is coind as a “Folk / Americana album, but cannot, in truth be “peggeed” as any specific genre, it flows through the spectrum of everything from Folk to Rock and hits high marks on every track. Norm Brunet, although a mature and seasoned artist has a youthful appeal and has a “Dylan-esc” quality that many try to emulate, but he, in not trying has mastered. It Don’t Get Better Than This by Norm Brunet is masterful.
In the Fall of 2017, as Norm Brunet was gearing up to promote his latest album – and first promoted in the U.S. – It Don’t Get Better Than This, the veteran singer/songwriter and consummate musical storyteller made the rounds among publishing companies in Nashville. Embracing his songs and inviting, whiskey-throated voice, they unanimously responded, “Wow, nice Americana!” Which struck the Quebec born, Ottawa raised and based artist as ironic, considering the fact that he had always been categorized a country artist back home. “They don’t have Americana where I come from,” he laughs. “And no one has formally coined the term ‘Canadiana’ yet. But if being promoted to the Americana format helps get my music out there, I’m all for it!”
Brunet has been something of a low key icon in Canada, spending years performing in large cities and small prairie towns across the provinces, fueled by the success of his debut album Me and My Guitar – which spawned four Top 20 radio singles and two Top 5’s – and Life Goes On, which included one chart single. Larry Delaney, founder of Can Country, writes, “Norm’s smokey-throated vocal work has a special attractiveness that keeps you listening for more. His voice rings with experience and texture. . .As a songwriter, his versatility comes to the forefront with an intuitive ability to take everyday situations and turn them into songs.” Susan Beyer of The Ottawa Citizen adds, “The tunes are exceptional! Substance? Plenty. Hooks? Norm could open his own tackle shop!”
So as U.S. Americana fans come to embrace a seasoned pro who can sing wistfully about love at first site with his late beloved pit bull-boxer mix Cody (the country-blues romp “Like Out of a Dream”) and the joy of “Good Times and Tan Lines,” we should offer a full geographic disclaimer. Brunet also has a house in Sunrise, Florida, where he shot a performance of the rock ballad title track on a windswept pier for Miami’s BalconyTV.
He also spends a lot of time working with songwriters in Nashville. Thanks to internet radio, his music’s gone crazy both regionally in the U.S. and internationally, charting on The Iceman’s Nashville based show and snagging airplay on blues and roots radio programs throughout the States, Canada, Australia and Europe.
Brunet recorded the album at Shining Star Studios in Nashville with good friend Dan Artuso, who co-produced with Victor Nesrallah, who have been helping create the singer’s music since his first album. They also contribute electric and acoustic guitar parts, as well as bass, organ, piano, steel guitar and backup vocals. “Compared to my previous releases,” he says, “this CD is more organic and much more representative of who I am and have always been, just like sitting in a house at a party and playing songs for everyone. It just felt really natural.”
More interested in telling other people’s tales than his own, Brunet was inspired to write the heartfelt title track by a couple who visited him backstage and told them of their challenges of family life with him being gone on his trucking routes all the time. Yet they find joy amidst those circumstances. He wrote “Out of the Blue” as encouragement for a female friend lamenting that she can’t find true love – and penned “Can’t Stop Thinking” about men who act like they’re not obsessed with a certain woman when they are. “Good Times and Tan Lines” was a phrase his masseuse posted on the wall at the spa!
Unlike younger songwriters he observed working in publishing house rooms in Nashville who crank out tunes whether they’re truly inspired or not, Brunet’s creative process is grounded in his philosophy that “If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t say it. I don’t force the matter. It has to come from the heart or nothing. The creativity process of this album started when I simply noticed around me how there is an abundance of inspiration! My songs are about real people, real situations and for the most part, tell a story that the listener can relate to.”
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