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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Emory Quinn – See You At The Next Light
2010, Emory Quinn
Back in the Fall of 2002, Clint Quinn Bracher and Nathan Emory Rigney started playing together while students at Texas A&M University.  An Open Mic appearance that year turned into a full-time job, with the band playing 120 gigs per year by 2007.  The then-duo began recording in their dorm room.  Along the way they picked up bassist/keyboardist Case Bell, and in 2008 added drummer Tony Rios.  Emory Quinn bases themselves out of San Antonio, Texas these days and continues to build a solid fan base.  Emory Quinn recently released their third studio album, See You At The Next Light.
See You At The Next Light opens with “Hand In Hand”, a solid blend of country, folk and rock tune about love, devotion and sticking together no matter what.  Vocalist Clint Bracher sounds like a cross between Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket) and Tom Petty, and delivers a catchy, motivated melody line that takes on a life of its own.  “Moving On” is mildly catchy with a nice hook and solid vocal harmonies.  This is a summertime tune; a solid album track.  “Heart In Mind” sounds like something that might happen if John Mellencamp and Rob Thomas were to collaborate; having an understated pop sensibility that catches up on you and grows on you with successive listens.
“Finds Danger” is part love song and part outlaw tune.  The arrangement is solid if a little bland, reflecting the melancholy feel of the story-teller’s retrospective tale of love.  Nathan Rigney’s guitar work particularly stands out on this tune.  “Holes Through The Windows” is about as disturbing as songs get; the tale of a drunk, a song of murder and obsession that shifts focus just enough to leave right and wrong seriously in question.  “Tear Down The Walls” is a solid, straight-forward number that leaves vocal charisma at the coat check.  The Blue Rodeo-style arrangement and weeping pedal-steel guitar both add nicely to the sound however, and the overall effect is aurally pleasing.  “Be Here Now” recounts the cost of telling the truth and ponders what might have happened if he’d told a lie.  This rumination is accomplished in a comfortable Americana arrangement that owes a bit of its ancestry to Wilco. 
“When I Dream” finds Bracher sounding a bit disaffected on the vocal line, choosing an almost talk/sing style at times that seems very much at odds with the upbeat folk/rock/country arrangement yet somehow works nonetheless.  The keyboard work on this tune is a nice touch, cementing the band’s sound quite nicely in a crossover-ready style that could easily light up switchboards at both rock and country outlets.  “Calling Your Name” finds Bracher in a similar juxtaposition with the arrangement, although this time the result isn’t quite so enjoyable.  “Calling Your Name” drags in a monotonous style that will have some reaching for the skip button.  Emory Quinn closes with “Falling Down Again”, a catchy number with an almost Celtic/bluegrass feel that’s quietly infectious.  This is the best piece of songwriting on the album even if it is not the most commercial sound offered here.
Emory Quinn sure seems to be cooking up something good in San Antonio.  See You At The Next Light blends rock, country and folk with a subtle pop sensibility and casual story-telling style that works its way quietly into your brain.  Don’t be surprised if See You At The Next Light grows on you.  Emory Quinn has written the sort of album that opens to you slowly, but lasts a long time in your memory.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Emory Quinn at or   See You At The Next Light is available from as a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

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