by John Tarpley
Along with Jon Snodgrass, Austin Lucas, our boy Ben Nichols and countless other loosely-affiliated White Water Tavern regulars, Cory Branan and that whole alt-country happening has spent years molding a New Americana sound. A lot of people, in Little Rock especially, love it. It makes some people irate. But after you sift out all of the opinions and attitudes toward the genre, you've gotta admit that Cory Branan can flesh out one hell of a song. The animated Memphian takes cues from John Prine's quick wit and punk/metal at large's fiery guitar-picking. He nipped at widespread success years ago, even appearing on Letterman with his signature song, "Miss Ferguson," and, recently, his "Tall Green Grass" has found its way into set-lists from (no laughing) Dashboard Confessional. But here, he's just a dude at the bar with a penchant for getting drunk enough to climb up on that very bar for his encore.
Check it out: "Survivor Blues" (live at Ardent Studios, Memphis)