Mike Sudhalter | August 10, 2009
Brandon Rhyder is a Man of Conviction,
and one of the top Texas Country performers
"I Am A Man of Convinction, I've shattered these walls..." and so starts one of the most powerful, self-reflective songs in Texas Country - or any other genre - of music.
And the song belongs to one of the state's most unique performers. There's no cowboy hat - and little twang - in the act of one Brandon Rhyder. But he is one of the best songwriters and entertainers in the growing scene that is Texas Country.
He's one of the acts from East Texas - Carthage, to be exact. And he represents that part of the state, especially on his second album, aptly named "Behind The Pine Curtain."
His signature song is "Man of Conviction", and in the notes of his Live album, he says it's "a story about a man who does everything at 100%. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong. Nevertheless, it cost him his girl and his soul."
I'd seen Rhyder play the Ziegenbock Festival last fall in Houston and on July 31 at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth. His act plays better at a small intimate venue, rather than the World's Largest Honky-Tonk.
It would be great to hear more songs like "Man of Conviction" where someone can look back at the good things and bad things they've done, analyze it, put it into song form and then entertain/provoke thoughts when the results are set to music.