As you listen to Race of Love, performed by blues, county and rock artist, Charles Brusman with lyrics by Frank Topper, you may be struck by a certain quality, which sounds rather familiar. The predominance of the twangy guitar; the understated low-key singing; the irresistibly lyrical hooks straining for a metaphysical significance just within their grasp–all these elements make Race of Love sound as if it was performed by one of the Beatles crossed with Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Then you realize that the song resembles nothing less than a solo track that might have been done by the likes of George Harrison. And that’s not such a bad thing; considering Harrison had a knack for giving metaphysical lyrics a pop tunefulness!
Topper and Brusman didn’t try to do anything musically over the top here, and the result is a perfect country-infected folk song that has a great time exulting the analogies between love, women and fast cars. I have also heard Brusman do a Roadhouse Blues version of the song, but ultimately I prefer this mellower, Dylanish version.
Frank Topper is rather a prolific lyricist, with a penchant for collaborating with a variety of performers across a huge spectrum of styles. You’ll find his lyrics ‘swinging’ along with Sacha Hanigan, on “Jolly Good”, being uplifting with Drew Corey on “Plan on Love” or simply philosophical on “Get a Head of Ghandi” with Thomas Hallett.
The list of songs and collaborations is endless, many being shared with Charles Brusman who seems to be Topper’s favorite collaborator. Either way, something tells me he is having a rather ‘swell’ and fulfilling time, so I’m expecting many more songs in the coming weeks, with Frank Topper’s words all spread out across the verses and choruses…and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brusman is performing them either!