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Home > Magazine > Article Archive > News

Reviews: Bruce Piephoff ~ Slaughterhouse
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2003 @ 21:22:25 UTC
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Bruce Piephoff

CD: Slaughterhouse (Flyin’ Cloud Records)

Home: Greensboro, North Carolina

Style: Singer/Songwriter

Quote: "Think Johnny Cash with a Dylan delivery".

By Jennifer Layton

What I liked most about this poet/storyteller/songwriter was how his laid-back drawl sounds just as appropriate singing about New York City as it does the small towns of North Carolina.

Most of these songs and poems were written in New York, and Bruce Piephoff burns living images into my mind in “Streets of Queens.” Pawn shops, subway sax players, children playing, pill popping, curry smells, the feel of your new heart beating. Then he turns right around and heads back south in tracks like “The Flood,” a folk tune about a hurricane that tore his home state apart. “Floyd’s mighty big, and he’s meeeean,” he warns as he describes the damage in cities I know well, including Kinston, where I went to high school.

Slaughterhouse is Piephoff’s tenth CD, and it’s impossible to walk away from. Think Johnny Cash with a Dylan delivery. Add a Ph.D. in literature. I don’t know if Piephoff has that degree, but I felt quite cultured after hearing “Dante and Villon,” the guitar and harmonica tale of the two artist exiles in a bar, drinking to poets and outlaws who died to be free.

Piephoff’s music is homey, bluesy, front-porch atmosphere music, even when he’s singing about the city. And his poetry is just plain, honest talk with a great way of dropping you right into different surroundings. “45-41-40 Street” is a one-minute travel diary of his chaotic arrival in NYC. I love his description of Joe, the King of NYC, who crosses busy streets, parting traffic like Moses in the Red Sea. The image contrasts perfectly with the colorful character of “When Terry Barry Ran For Mayor,” who is king of his own little world.

He sings of migrant workers and hypocrites. (“To walk out of darkness, you wouldn’t cross the street,” he accuses sharply in “Refuge From The Rain.”) He muses of writing and country folks and the blues. He’s also slyly funny on occasion. Put this on the stereo, close your eyes, and do a little travelling with him.

www.geocities.com/piephoffmusic












 
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