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Album Review: Rob Baird - I Swear It's The Truth

By: Matt Bjorke

Last Updated: May 22, 2012 6:05 AM

In 2010 a new artist named Rob Baird surfaced on the scene with a strong debut album, written mostly while still in college, called Blue Eyed Angels and while that was  a very strong album, I Swear It's The Truth. Recorded at the legendary Cedar Creek Studios in Austin Texas, Truth features eleven strong songs with eight of them highlighting Rob Baird's considerable growth as a songwriter.

"Same Damn Thing" finds the Memphis, Tennessee native burning up the speakers with a tune that tells his story about how his life takes him to different places with different faces but many of those people in those dusty bars are doing the 'same damn thing' and are the same kinds of people, even if their own stories are different. It's an insanely relatable song that can even correlate to anyone's job or life in general (going to a Publix or a Whole Foods, the people in these stores are inherently the same).

The funny thing about listening to Rob Baird's I Swear It's The Truth is that it doesn't feel like it's at all 'limited' by being an album made in Texas for the Texas Music market. In many ways it feels like past Carnival Recording Company artist Eli Young Band, in that Baird and EYB both mix heartland rock vibes with country music's tried and true lyrics. Baird is also a Carnival Recording Company artist (and songwriter) and on "More Than Willing," the lead single, we find Rob singing about getting too far from the man he ever wanted to be so he feels the need to return to his roots and get centered again. Melodically it's 'heartland' and lyrically, its strongly country. 

"Redemption" finds Rob painting a lyrical picture that recalls Townes Van Zandt while "Dreams & Gasoline" finds the artist channelling Tom Petty as he sings about a vagabond soul and the need to fuel his soul with the lure of the open road to dreams.  "Can't Stop Running" finds Baird channeling fellow troubadour Radney Foster with a tale of a man who can't stay in one place long enough to settle down for he's always looking for the one that got away.

The three songs that don't feature Rob Barid's name in the credits are Andrew Comb's "Please, Please" a tender ballad with a man's last plea at keeping the girl of his dreams while the Mark Selby, Tia Sillers and Rick Brantley co-write brings up the native blues/soul elements in his music (which is natural to a native of Memphis).  Julie Miller's "I Can't Get Over You" closes the record and finds Rob Baird showcasing his strong voice on one of her better songs (which is saying a lot about Miller's catalog). 

Everything about "I Swear It's The Truth suggest a young artist ready to break into the big leagues and the big Nashville labels seem to be picking up Texas Music artists (Kristin Kelly, Kasey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Wade Bowen) more and more these days. I have a feeling that Rob is but the next one in the line and mainstream radio would be all the better to have an artist like Rob Barid and his songs like those on I Swear It's the Truth on their airwaves and played in a bar or music performance hall near you. 

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