T Bone Burnett: An Overdue Return
Earlier this year, singer-songwriter and folk-rock pioneer T Bone Burnett finally broke his 14-year hiatus as a solo performer. Known for his captivating solo material, and as a producer of everyone from Roy Orbison to Counting Crows, Burnett has spent recent years cementing his place in the culture through work as a producer and record-label head. His involvement in many genres and multiple sides of the music business gives his own work a unique sensibility.
Born Joseph Henry Burnett, he began making records in 1965, producing Texas blues, rock 'n' roll, country and occasionally even his own songs. Following his 1972 debut, The B-52 Band & The Fabulous Skylarks, Burnett launched himself into recording his own work, as well as producing landmark records such as Elvis Costello's King of America. His career as a composer and arranger took off in 2001 when he was asked to assemble the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a monumental best-seller and Grammy winner.
The songs for his new album came from a period of solitude in which he wrote the bulk of his new lyrics. Titled The True False Identity, the disc was recorded with a long list of musicians who shared Burnett's musical influences — which include Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf and even Haitian music. Dark yet hopeful, The True False Identity is subtly addictive and well worth the wait preceding its arrival.
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