Bruce Henderson

The Wheel Rolls – 1997 (Paradigm)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

CDs by Bruce Henderson

After a few years playing New York clubs with friends like G.E. Smith and Andy York, Bruce Henderson released an impressive debut. The ballad "Big Moon" combines the classic romantic imagery of the moon with more earthly images such as "dirty dishes in the sink" to keep us grounded in reality. In "Swimming Through the Ashes" Henderson speaks of a failed relationship in a decidedly unemotional tone ("I believe in lying sometimes/I'm no stranger to deceit"), and he seems to have no remorse for "the bridges I've burned."

The album's highlight is "City Folk" in which Henderson speaks longingly of his Oklahoma upbringing, while accepting that he has been citified and lamenting that the "place is gone" that he knew as home.

Henderson calls his band the High Plains Drifters because duties on T.V. and touring cause frequent scheduling conflicts. The results here are good enough to create the hope that Henderson can convince friends like G.E. Smith to drift back to the studio soon.