“Billy’s respect for folk music and stellar musicianship coupled with John’s attentive drumming and backup singing keeps the crowd moving and calling for more.” If this endearing quote from Tyler Vogt, owner of Mularkey’s Pub, does indeed ring true, Billy Bronsted seems to possess the necessary attributes to succeed in the music business.
Because while his live performance chops may indeed be sharp, his studio prowess is pretty damn solid too, and it appears he’s just getting started.
On May 2nd, the Wisconsin-bred country and folk songwriter delivered his new album, Rhythm, Racket, and Romance. The album is a poignant display of his range, playing honky tonk bangers (“Round This Way”) to more tender acoustic folk ballads (“Honey Where You Gone”).
With his twangy country-fried guitar and passion-filled vocals, “Round This Way” starts off the record with a bang. The upbeat track is a solid depiction of his country-inspired roots, and the song is the perfect honky tonk juke joint jam to get the party started. Bronsted began experimenting with this more down home sound by playing the banjo in the bluegrass trio Linus and the Lute, and that can be heard here.
The Wisconsin native was in a whirlwind of touring as Billy Bronsted & the Loot in 2019 and 2020, and cut his teeth playing from Nashville to San Diego, and everywhere in between. This absorption of these moments, landscapes, and adventures played a key role in the music behind the new record.
The life of touring, collaboration, and the American landscape helped Bronsted come back and bring his five-piece band to the studio. He describes this sound as, “[a representation of] those first few years of diving into my life as a performing artist.”
He not only experiments with this familiar Americana sound, but instills the same values in his lyricism. It maintains the many facets of life and romance, and displays the “strong values of hard work and the importance of family” that he says Tomahawk, Wisconsin, has taught him.
Rhythm, Racket, and Romance is a beautiful collection of songs depicting the storytelling prowess embedded in Bronsted’s life, and the future looks bright for this country-folk artist as he plans to release two more albums this year.