Bruce Robison – “Heartache To Houston”

bruce robison

1. When Bruce Robison’s last full length The New World was released, he commented that roots music should sound different than the rest of music, by virtue of its name. His latest single “Heartache to Houston”, accomplishes that by sounding refreshingly simple.

2. Lead by Brian Beken’s mandolin, the song finds Robison with “one hand on the wheel/ and one on the wind”, skipping town after a relationship where there is “nothing left worth saving”. Hoping to find some new ground to plow in Houston, he leaves with nothing save “a need to light this fuse”. The song, co-written with Gary Massey and ex-Fastball frontman Miles Zuniga, strips things away to a classic country arrangement, centered around an insistent snare that makes it seem like more of a rave-up than it actually is. Touches of organ and delicate electric guitar light the way, but never in a manner that overpowers the tune.

3. Part of me wishes there was something more to say about this song — maybe a twist at the end, like Robison has been known to write. On second thought, that sort of device would actually negate this song’s strength: simplicity. Robison’s character doesn’t have much of an agenda beyond getting out of town, so he can’t be expected to wax poetic or psychoanalyze the situation. Instead, he drives along to a song that is perfect for someone in his situation: a great melody, a driving beat, and a bit of self-pity, heading for a new horizon. Country music doesn’t need much more.

 


lyrics:

One hand on the wheel, and one on the wind
Headed southeast in silence down interstate 10
There’s nothing left worth sayin’ so I didn’t call
Your face in every headlight; My back against the wall

I’m taking my heartache to Houston there’s nothing I can do
Except maybe a chance of scenes in New Orleans along to Baton Rouge
I left San Antone this morning with nothing but a need to light this fuse
I’m taking my heartache to Houston till I get over you

We painted pretty pictures, and dreamed some fine dreams
We asked of love nothing, and got back the same
I’m rolling so fast now like a bullet from a gun
Knowing theres just one thing I know; that I just can not run

I’m taking my heartache to Houston there’s nothing I can do
Except maybe a chance of scenes in New Orleans along to Baton Rouge
I left San Antone this morning with nothing but a need to light this fuse
I’m taking my heartache to Houston till I get over you

I’m taking my heartache to Houston to lose myself in there
Maybe go on down down to Galveston to sell a song for you
I left San Antone this morning with nothing, but a need to light this fuse
I’m taking my heartache to Houston till I get over you

I’m taking my heartache to Houston till I get over you

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