The Rest is Commentary
Table or Booth Music

In the 10 years since his move down from Virginia, corporate/ government speechwriter by day/singer-songwriter by nights and weekends D.C. Bloom has come a long way towards making a name for himself in the central Texas music community. He’s forged meaningful friendships with a ton of notable artists, pissed off a few others via his alarmingly frequent and patently irreverent Facebook postings, secured his own weekly songwriters-in-the-round hosting gig at Austin’s popular Whip In, won the hearts of San Antonio Spurs fan by penning an irresistible tribute to Manu Ginobili long before Shinyribs’ Kevin Russell wrote one of his own, and even finagled his way into the staff box of this magazine as a regular contributor. But as his fourth album, The Rest is Commentary, makes clear, he’s still a long way from blending in with the crowd as just another dude with a guitar. Like a scarlet Buckeye in a field of burnt orange Longhorns, the Ohio-born Bloom stands out from the Texas folk crowd he runs with by writing and recording songs that feel closer in spirit to ’50s/’60s satirist Tom Lehrer — or even vaudeville — than anything inspired by Van Zandt, Clark, or Shaver. Even when he steers clear of the funny bone and plays things earnest — which he actually does more often than not on Commentary, favoring heartfelt songs like the lovely “The Key of You and Me” over lighter, clever fare like “Lesser Prairie Chicken” — Bloom still sounds like the oddest duck in the listening room. And just when you think you’ve got him figured out — as in, of course he’d have tuba all over his open- ing track, “I Got Questions,” and of course he’d find a way to turn the last words of Steve Jobs into a sing-along folk gospel tune (“Oh Wow Wow”) — he drops a stone-cold beautiful rendition of Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” on you that could floor an army of stone-faced folk Nazis. As for the rest of Commentary, well, suffice it to say that Bloom’s tunes may not fit everyone’s tastes or Americana program director’s playlist, but it’s hard not to root for a guy who sounds like he’s hav- ing this much fun just being himself. — RICHARD SKANSE