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Bobby Long creates a very personal record

British folk-based artist Bobby Long noticed his latest album, "Ode To Thinking," was “a lot more personal than any record I have written.”

Bobby Long
Ode to Thinking
Compass Records (CD)


4 Stars

By Doug Koztoski

Little did he know, but when British folk-based artist Bobby Long first started writing a song called “Ode to Thinking,” it would end up as the title track of his third full album. After working on the next four songs, the singer-songwriter-guitarist noticed the project starting to gel and that “the whole record was a lot more personal than any record I have written.”

A sturdy grouping of 11 original tunes, the finished product consistently delivers at a high level. Expect melodies led by strong acoustic guitar playing and often interesting lyrics delivered along with a solid voice that comes with an easy-to-listen-to rangy growl. The haunting and poignant song “Ode to Thinking,” for instance, focuses on his becoming more aware of the world’s social and political issues and includes the lyrics: “We’ve unchained a monster in an empty wishing well.” “The Song The Kids Sing” brings a tune that will resonate with many, as it spotlights fear. In this case, Long and his friends feared growing up in a small town with no promise and never being able to get out.

Then there’s “1985,” named after the artist’s birth year. Dealing with “real love,” much of its inspiration came from trying to write a song that John Lennon might pen, although in his humble manner Long said, “I obviously did not get anywhere near it.” That’s debatable.

Long places Bob Dylan on his personal musical Mt. Rushmore. Noting Dylan’s body of work and his ability to “floor you with simplicity a lot of the time,” the musician strives to be his own artist, of course, but one aspect of the superstar’s style that he hopes to regularly emulate is “capturing the moment.” The talented British artist snags many a moment and does it with ease.

The Ode concert tour stretches until November, with shows in Europe and the U.K. sandwiched between several U.S. gigs. Looks like Long reached one of his main goals to date and got out of his small town to see the world. 

Bobby Long tour dates:

September 25-World Café Live, Wilmington, DE

September 26-The Linda, Albany, NY

September 27-Katharine Hepburn Theatre, Old Saybrook, CT


October 3—Hedon, Zwolle, Netherlands

October 4—Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

October 7—Rio’s, Mettmann, Germany

October 8—Hot Jazz Club, Münster, Germany

October 9—Tribunen, Haderslev, Denmark

October 10—Logo, Hamburg, Germany

October 11—Studio 7, Panketal, Germany

October 14—Backstage, Munich, Germany

October 15—Orpheum Extra, Graz, Austria

October 16—Haus der Musik, Vienna, Austria

October 18—ArtUm Centrum, Olomounc, Czech Republic

October 20—Schlachthof, Kassel, Germany

October 21—Das Bett, Frankfurt, Germany

October 22-Arkadas Theatre, Cologne, Germany

October 23—Sotano, Greifswald, Germany

October 24—Kulturlabor, Fehmarn, Germany

October 25—Wabe, Berlin, Germany

October 27—Nörgelbuff, Göttingen, Germany

October 28—Marlene, Hannover, Germany

October 29—Bunker Ulmenwall, Bielefeld, Germany

October 30—Grend, Essen, Germany

October 31—Club Zentral, Stuttgart, Germany


November 3–Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, England

November 4–Night N Day, Manchester, England

November 5–King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Scotland

November 6–The Borderline, London, England

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