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395. Proof Through the Night – T-Bone Burnett

PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT (1983)

T-Bone Burnett

T-Bone Burnett may appear more often than any artist outside of Terry Scott Taylor if one includes solo projects, band projects and musician and production duties. From Bob Dylan and Tonio K to Leslie Phillips and Mark Heard T-Bone Burnett never had his own albums released into the CCM market, yet his presence is undeniable and, for the listener and fan, greatly appreciated.

While working at Maranatha Village I was doing an in-store appearance with Leslie Phillips for her CCM swan song, The Turning, and she entered the store with a very tall and lanky gentleman in tow. Now, realize I had met Amy Grant, Bob Dylan, Bono and Michael Been by this time in my life, but I can tell you that I have never been so in awe or so utterly tongue tied as when I met T-Bone Burnett for the first time.

Proof Through the Night is a haunting, dark and impressive album. Guests include Pete Townsend and Ry Cooder along with Burnett’s normal group of stellar friends and bandmates like David Mansfield and David Miner. The album sort of lulls you into experiencing what it has to offer. Burnett’s acoustically driven stark production is so compelling it is no surprise he continues to be one of the most sought after producers, and here it shines in its simplicity and authenticity.

There are several wonderful songs to highlight on this album. “Stunned” is the most accessible and should have been a single if Burnett could ever really have a “single.” The chorus is memorable and stays with the listener. The same for “Fatally Beautiful.””Pressure” is true highlight with a great guitar driven 1-3 beat and incredible hook.

Burnett also has a long standing trademark of talking through songs. There are a few examples on this album that make for compelling listening. “The Sixties” is hysterical, especially its comments regarding the use of the word “freak.” “Hefner and Disney” also employs the storytelling motif and creates and troubling mood musically which compliments the content as he reverses the roles of the two famous gentlemen.

A great album worth tracking down that a few years ago was finally released on CD.

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  1. Loren
    October 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    It’s funny how when you stay in a genre long enough the rest of society finally catches up. I was listening to some of the artists the other day on a label called “roots worship” and I could definitly hear Mr. Burnett’s influence. (typed on an iPhone keyboard with my HUGE thumb)

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    October 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I love this album….still my favorite of his. “Shut it Tight” will probably be played at my memorial service……along with “Treasure of the Broken Land” and “All My Tears” (Julie Miller).

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