Garrett Bryan and the Traveling City Committee “Clocks & Mirrors”

FiO Music Group, 2023

Soulful southern rock.

For anyone with more than a passing interest in soulful rock with measures of blues and country, luxuriant guitar solos then this is the album for you. Garrett Bryan is a fourth-generation musician born in Louisiana. A teenager when his family moved to central Texas he got into songwriting honing his skills on the local live circuit. Solo then with country band Callahan Divide, Bryan has created a sound that blends his journey from the delta to the plains.

The country rock opener ‘Please Brooke’ places Bryan’s distinct vocals along that trail. Fast-paced guitars and synthesiser introduce the big part Jordan Tyler Haynes plays on the record as he harmonises with Bryan and pianist Ivy Byram. While an energetic start the flowing changes of pace on the title track open up the band’s talents in preparation for the menacing riffs, distortion and southern rock guitar solo on ‘Acting Like’. These solos feature widely, evoking one of the genre’s finest proponents, Derek Trucks, particularly on ‘I Let You In’ and the bluesy soul runs of ‘Nobody Like You’.

Immersed in more synth ‘Love Somebody’ takes that layered soulful vibe further in contrast to the hypnotic simplicity of instrumental ‘River Trip’ and its ‘Reprise’. Not that Bryan lacks lyrical inspiration, he wrote all the songs. Confronting love gone wrong on ‘Newer Green’ he matches the instrumental dazzle with the vivid imagery of, “Big bad wolf knew he’d just go and blow it/ And I love you like the horizon/ Loves the bottom of the sky”. Perhaps a lot to process but there’s no doubting the message. Bryan leaves one of his most poignant muses, ‘Day Labor’, to last. Gone are the soulful guitars and synth for a solo piano to accompany a melancholy look back at what might have been by asking himself, “Is it gonna turn over?”

‘Clocks & Mirrors’ was recorded in Texas but mastered over here at Abbey Road Studios. Garrett Bryan and the Traveling City Committee have built a solid reputation for their live show. This entire album is made for performing live so Garrett, next time you’re over here please book some shows.


About Lyndon Bolton 143 Articles
Writing about americana, country, blues, folk and all stops in between
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David Harper

Travelling City Committee produces music that is likely TOO tasteful, melodic and evocative for the blunt tastes of most modern “music lovers” in the Country/ Country Rock genres.