John Bunzow – Counterfeit Salvation


Nothing here is really the kind of music that I listen to regularly. It has roots in the a lot of classic, timeless sounds, though. There are plenty of elements to bring a familiarity. Yet, John Bunzow also brings a new angle, providing a freshness to it. This is the kind of music that should attract a fairly wide range of music fans. It is mainstream enough to appeal to many tastes, while still bringing enough challenge to keep it interesting.

There is a classic sound on the opening cut, “Song and Dance.” The lyrics are fun. The music has a lot of energy. It’s mid-tempo and rather catchy. The guitar brings both rock and roll and country to it, while the vocals are almost pure country.

The music on “Miss My Whiskey” is a lot like something John Fogerty would do. I don’t like Fogerty’s vocals, so I don’t like his music, though. The vocals on this are better, making this a good tune. The next song is “Detour,” and it’s a big change. It has a lot of soulful sound built into it. The country elements are almost completely gone. This is one of my favorites here.

“Regina” is more accessible. It has a slow groove to it. It’s one of the best songs on the album. I really like “Since You Came Around” a lot. It’s a mellower number. The best description would be “country ballad,” and it’s a catchy one at that.

“Quicksand” sort of makes me think of Dire Straits. That’s a good thing. I like Dire Straits. The vocals don’t feel like that, but the music, and particularly the guitar solo, does. The title track is definitely not like the rest of the album. It has a bit of a weird sound. It’s drenched with 1970s funk, and yet has a lot of country music in it, too. As odd as this is, it works really well.

While the vocals are more country in nature, “Sometimes” isn’t that much different than some of the music that was on the radio in the 1970s. It has a classic sound and some good hooks. The groove on “Better Way Of Living Our Lives” is good. I don’t like the vocals on it as well as I do on some of the others. It’s one of the most lushly arranged songs here.

I don’t really like “Too Much Love” as much as I like some of the others. It’s good. It just doesn’t grab me. Things move back into more purely country territory on the closing song, “Unwind This Tailspin.” The song has some good hooks and is one of the better tunes here.

I’d describe this as a pleasant listening experience. While it does get a bit too twangy for my tastes at times, Bunzow’s voice is quite enjoyable. His songs have a wide range of sound and influence built into them. They also have a lot of great hooks. All in all, this is the kind of place where most people should find at least one section where they feel right at home. The other things are the kind of stretch that makes you feel good.

8.5/10 Stars


Diane Hill