"Iron Mountain" by Michael Brondstetter

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If you like folk music, the blues or roots rock then you just might want to lend an ear and take a listen to "Iron Mountain" by Michael Brondstetter. It's an EP with five songs that's been release on the OAG Management Records label and it covers a pretty large chunk of musical territory in a pretty short amount of time; twenty minutes and forty seconds, give or take a tick-tock or two, to be exact.

"Iron Mountain" opens with "Dark Cloud Blues". The title alone lets you know which musical genre this tune leans toward and before you even reach the chorus of this stormy number the slide guitar has you hooked like a hungry trout on the first day of fishing season. Ever been sitting in a bar when some guy walks in looking like he's either there for a drink or a fight or both? Well that's the vibe I felt while listening to "Dark Cloud Blues". It packs all the tension of tightly coiled spring and the scratchy rhythm guitar playing here sounds like the strummer's been duly dusted with some powerful itching powder.

"Friends" is a folkie track that features some sonically sweet bowing on a lonesome sounding fiddle. Brondstetter brings in a gospel kind of choir to back him on the choruses and it lends a warming touch to the score. Out of all the songs on the EP this is the one that showcases his vocal abilities the best, with swooping glissandos employed on the sustained notes and clean cut phrasing on the more staccato sections of the melody line. Here is where he also uses an abundant amount of emotional coloring to help paint some heartfelt feelings with his lyrics.

Staying in the folk vein on "Ghost in the Walls" Michael strips the production down to simply his voice and an acoustic six stringer. He goes for a varied dynamic contract in the vocalization. From breathy whispers to a full voiced recitation this Californian cowpoke works the microphone in the recording studio with self assured finesse and then segues breathlessly into the roots rock infused "Tear It Apart" on the next track. It's within "Tear It Apart" he allows a bit of studio technology to come into play during this arrangement and heavily douses the backing voices with a double dose of digital stereo phase shifting.

Wrapping up the "Iron Mountain" EP set is "Love Is the Key". It's befitting that it's here this tunesmith merges his folk, blues and roots rock influences into one cohesively crossed intersection. There's even the slight bit of a pop music quality to this stylistic mash up that makes this little lullaby a welcomed addition to any late night radio show host's midnight play list and a DJ's delight.

This tuneful traveling troubadour seems to embrace a fairly consistent tour schedule with appearances on both the stage as well as on television shows. If you can't find Michael Brondstetter listed on your hometown club circuit marquees or local TV networks then you may want to check in with his marketing reps over at the KES Music Group (http://kesmusicgroup.com), or follow him through his own web site at http://brondmusic.com.

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