Cory Branan needs no introduction in even the least educated of Americana music circles. The kid has been touring the country playing his heart out for the better part of a decade. Those who have seen his live show know how just close to literal the term “pouring his heart out” actually is. We’ve all been there, we’ve sang along with him and we all high-fived one another a couple of years ago when Bloodshot Records signed him because, god damnit, one of the good guys finally won, and in an ever small way, it felt like we did too.

Now I am gonna let you in on a little secret. I don’t like Cory Branan’s records. Would not ever miss a show. Own zero copies of his cds or mp3’s. I told him as much one night. I felt like his first two albums, To Hell You Say and 12 Songs, he tried to hard to capture his live show on cd and it felt forced. His Bloodshot debut, Mutt, got away from that but went so far away it could never resonate with me. In the 2 years since Mutt and No-Hit Wonder Cory got married and had a couple of kids resulting in a little less road time and a little more husband/dad time. Pretty dramatic changes in 2 years, the type of changes that alter outlooks, opinions and writers. Some writers come through worse, some come through better but none come out the same.

In this writer’s opinion, Cory came out the other end far improved. No-Hit Wonder, like Mutt before it, makes no effort to emulate Cory’s live persona and is pretty heavily produced. It has tight melodies, Cory’s signature lyrical craftsmanship, and a heavily dose of optimism in it. I am a really big fan of the music on this cd and I am as surprised as anyone else to be saying it.

I guess my point is, even if you haven’t been a Branan album fan before, No-Hit Wonder is worth a little ear time. It converted me. I love it, I’m not ashamed to admit it, and can prove it by deeming it Essential Listening.

Sour Mash
All I Got And Gone
All The Rivers In Colorado

Cory Branan’s Official Site, Cory Branan on Facebook, Cory Branan on Spotify, Buy No-Hit Wonder

4 thoughts on “CORY BRANAN – NO-HIT WONDER”

  1. Seriously? I think The Hell You Say and 12 Songs are/were miles away away from his live show. I always felt like he was trying to do something different on those albums than in the shows. And I was like, why? Especially 12 Songs. I’ve always loved those albums but for a while I’d prefer his live bootlegs because they were more fun and I was impatient. I think the last two albums are way different than the live show, too, but just because they’re fuller. I think this is his best one.

    1. agree with mike that all albums are way different than live shows. But i like the first two albums better than the last two. Just my opinion but “All These Little Cowboys” on 12 Songs is better than anything I’ve heard him do live. is still my favorite. Keep up the good work guys!

    2. When I started listening to Cory, “The Hell You Say” wasn’t far off from his live shows but what AIV said was “…he tried to capture his live shows and it felt forced.” While I’m not sure about that, I don’t think it was implied that he was successful at capturing the live shows. I like all of his albums but seeing him live is almost like seeing a different artist. Some of this one has had to grow on me but, like all three of the others, I love it.

  2. I’ve been a big fan of his music ever since hearing him, and have always enjoyed his live shows – I also am loving this new album, with the ‘bigger’ sort of sounds (instrumentation / backup vocals / etc). I think my favorite live show so far was him & Jon Snodgrass, but that (like all of his shows I’ve been to) was a much more stripped down, acoustic, sound.

    I’d love to see him tour with a backing band and play some of these, has he ever toured with a band or has it always been solo? Either way I have had this on pretty regularly and think that everything about it is on point, especially the title!

Comments are closed.