IAN BRUCE - The Naked Truth: Volume One Remastered
This album is a 2019 remixed and remastered version of Ian’s best selling 1995 release, The Naked Truth Volume One. Everything stripped back! Just Ian’s vocals and acoustic guitar performing 19 self-penned songs. And at a running time of 74 minutes, you certainly get value for money.
There is only one non-Bruce written song: and that is Julie Gold’s much-covered From A Distance. Oddly, this is both the zenith and nadir of the album. Its big plus is it’s the only a cappella version I have ever encountered, and it ambushed me with its power. When I first heard Nanci Griffith sing this back in 1987, it became a favourite of mine, and its message is more relevant today than ever. Yet, sad to say, the song’s chewing gum has lost its flavour for me somehow: maybe due to the sheer number of artistes who have covered it.
Songs that stood out for me were his The Anchor Line (co-written with Ian Walker) which has a good shanty feel to it; Will There Be A Concert? his late mum’s favourite song of his; The Nightime (sic) Cowboys, an affectionate tribute to British C&W aficionados... he likens those folk who don Stetsons and rhinestones to do line-dancing to Country Music’s Morris dancers; his capital punishment song Ghost Of The Chair, where the chorus appealed to ex-lighthouse keeper me; and Blue Denim Days, his signature song which closes a rewarding album.
And marvellously legible and cogent liner notes by Ian accompany this CD.
This review appeared in Issue 129 of The Living Tradition magazine