Album Review: The Brison Bursey Band "Expectations And Parking Lots"

 A quick glance at the cover art of  "Expectations And Parking Lots" shows a solitary double parking meter in front of a weathered wall that could come from any small town in the USA. Neither the front cover art or back cover give listeners a clue that The Brison Bursey Band are actually a carefree group of country boys with the cohesive sound of a band twice its age. Indeed, the low expectations give way to a delicious surprise (and a big musical payoff) with "Expectations And Parking Lots."
The album begins with the laid-back, Wade Bowen-esque "Solid Ground." It's followed by the stellar "Hearts To Break" which offers penetrating lyrics and a killer melodic hook courtesy of songwriters Bursey and band member Justin Tocket.

Brison Bursey grew up about 80 miles from Wichita in a small town named Quanah. And Bursey's early beginnings in a "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" town was the perfect All American upbringing for the singer-songwriter. He became active in FFA, music and Texas high school football, and Quanah also allowed him to see modern country life from top to bottom. This resulted in his most notable achievement - creating the Brison Bursey Band with friends Robert Morton, Justin Moore, Derek Watkins and Justin Tocket.

The third song on the album takes a new and interesting direction with "California Can." The Brison Bursey Band (or BBB as fans call them) showcase a unique blend that is reminiscent of a brilliant mixture of The Fray and Mickey And The Motorcars. However, the best song on the album comes next with "Look At You Now (Wedding Gown)." It is a surprisingly touching love song that will tug at the heartstrings of every female fan (and probably a few sensitive males, too).

"Save Me" is a contemporary country gem that builds to a heartfelt chorus which reminds us of friends and even well-known celebrities (such as Lindsay Lohan and Tiger Woods) who seem to be destroying their lives with a wide range of addictions and self-destructive behavior.

"Walking Away" offers a great vocal performance and might be the perfect choice for a summer 2010 radio single. It could very well be a Texas country chart hit. If Uncle Kracker recorded Red Dirt music, he might just choose "Walking Away." The anthemic "It Ain't Always Easy," "I've Been Waiting" and "Some Time" also have mcuh of the same charm.

"Doin' My Time" is a classic Texas country track that concert audiences will eat up faster than homemade coleslaw at the church barbecue. However, the country hoedown is saved for the end with "Balloon" which offers a killer piano interlude and a vibrant old-time country sound mixed with Red Dirt sensibilities. Fans will also enjoy a beautiful acoustic hidden track at the end of the album.

The Brison Bursey Band deserve much credit for creating a surprisingly well-rounded, mature album with "Expectations And Parking Lots." Moreover, the album shows that the band is fully willing to take risks and think outside the box. Parking lots are a dime a dozen, but this is one where you'll want to spend a heck of a lot of time.