Bobby Long raises the bar with splendid ‘Ode to Thinking’ LP

(Photo by Jamie Strachan)

(Photo by Jamie Strachan)

‘Ode to Thinking’
Bobby Long (Compass)
4 stars out of 5

After making a name for himself with acoustic-driven contemporary folk on his first two albums (2009’s “Dirty Pond Songs” debut and 2011 follow-up “A Winter Tale”), British singer/songwriter Bobby Long took things in a different direction with 2013 release “Wishbone.” Simply put, Long plugged in and made the transition to rock with plenty of loud electric guitars, drums and bass. It was an inspired decision and the record was fantastic.

Bobby Long CDLong continues in that vein — though he hasn’t completely abandoned his folk roots — on fourth full-length “Ode to Thinking.” It’s a splendid gathering of 11 tunes that represents the best work of his career. To get the record made, Long turned to his fans and launched a PledgeMusic campaign that proved to be remarkably successful.

“It is incredibly gratifying that so many people wanted to help me make a new record,” says Long, who’ll perform at Pittsburgh’s Club Café on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. “This community has been with me for every step of the journey.”

The set-opening title track is an acoustic-based gem, and Long cranks up the heat with keepers “Cold Hearted Lover of Mine” and “I’m Not Going Out Tonight.” Additional standouts on “Ode to Thinking” include “Kill Someone,’ “Hideaway,” “The Dark Won’t Get Darker” and “The Songs The Kids Sing.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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