Those with a passion for music will understand the excitement of discovering a great new record, whether it be a random find or the long-awaited release by a favorite artist. I had the thrill of such discovery this past week, when I stumbled upon a relatively new record by Bobby Pinson. I don't know how I had missed it previously, but it's copyrighted 2006, and here we are already seven months into 2007. But there it was, like a diamond in the rough, in the CD rack of the country music section at the local Wal-Mart.
Bobby Pinson is one of the better songwriters out there. His previous record, Man Like Me, has been one of my consistent favorites for the past few years now. I've already listened to this new record, Songs for Somebody, at least half a dozen times over the past couple days. I love it! It gets better with each successive listen.
Both of Bobby Pinson's records are thoughtful and intelligent. That sort of comment may be akin to assuring your buddy that his blind date has a "great personality." The comparison is not entirely off the mark, either. Songs for Somebody isn't a collection of catchy pop tunes that jump out and grab you and make you want to get up and dance the first time you hear them. There's more to the songs than a hook and a slogan. They tell stories; not long rambling stories, but real narratives nonetheless. As you get to know them, they help you to think about life, the universe and everything. Sometimes they even point you to Jesus, in an unobtrusive, unaffected sort of way. There's something of substance, something real, in this kind of music.
Fans of Van Zant or Tracy Lawrence may recognize "Takin' Up Space" and "If I Don't Make It Back," two of my favorite songs by those artists. Turns out they're Bobby Pinson songs, and here they are on Songs for Somebody. Don't know if I'll like his rendering of them as well as I do the versions by Van Zant and Tracy Lawrence, but there's a part of me that really roots for the writer to sing his own songs. Bobby doesn't have the most polished or perfect voice, but he writes and sings from the heart with real passion, and that does count for something (quite a lot) when you're making music.