Victor Camozzi’s fourth studio album Black Dog finds the Texas songwriting stalwart sonically exploring the full panorama of Americana. Yet his keen eye for detail and ear for a turn of phrase provide a common thread that pulls it all together with a comfortably weathered flair.
Camozzi is a musician whose career has lurched with an almost insouciant drunken stagger, from the studios of LA to the honky tonks of Texas. As his hometown of Austin booms and becomes more like LA, the hard luck boulevards stretch all the way between. That truth is poignantly reflected in the opening track, a radio ready rocker, “Broken Hearts Roll.” The album then shifts to the hope and the hardship of midlife, with “Jar Full of Tears” and “Horses I Won’t Ride.” Before taking us down to Americana bedrock with a slice of Roy Orbison-style heartbreak in “See You in My Dreams,” followed by the hard-core country of “Even the Whiskey.”
Just as on his previous albums, Camozzi serves up a well-honed sense of human frailty and the inescapable failings that unite us all. Raised by a father who was a prison psychologist and a mother who taught severely retarded children, it’s not difficult to see where Camozzi’s formative years found a foothold in the future songwriters mind. In the landscape of his songs, no one is perfect, and no one is bragging. We’re all just struggling to survive. It’s finding the beauty in that struggle that’s the challenge. And it’s a challenge Camozzi takes up with gusto.
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