On June 11, singer- songwriter Bruce Engler released the album “One More Chance” featuring US rocker DownTown Mystic, via Sha-La Music. The album is distributed worldwide by The Orchard/Sony Music, and is available on all major digital music platforms. “One More Chance” contains 12 songs, including an unreleased bonus track, where Bruce’s talents as a top-notch guitar player, vocalist and songwriter comes to the fore. He is also superbly assisted by DownTown Mystic’s Robert Allen, who co-produces, as well as adding backing vocals and supplementary guitars. The two have been working together for the past 25 years. Drummer Steve Holley and bassist Paul Page, from Ian Hunter’s Rant Band, are also on hand to unpack their wares across these tracks.
Right off the bat, on the title song, “One More Chance”, we get to hear how Bruce Engler’s vocal style works so well with his style of music. He has just the right amount of vocal range, while generating a whole lot of character. This better incorporates subtle textural and dynamic elements into his singing, giving it more emotional heft. The song sweeps and soars, displaying Engler, and co-writer DownTown Mystic’s most mature songwriting.
Whether he’s unplugged or fully electric, Engler’s guitar skills are never in doubt, and that’s definitely the case on this album. On “Fiona” Bruce unfolds a reggae-styled strum which is nothing short of infectious, on top, his voice drives the emotion. Engler’s rocking guitar evolutions and buoyant choruses elevate the mood on the upbeat “Way To Know”, which is actually a cover of a DownTown Mystic song.
Bruce Engler drags out his acoustic guitar to launch the captivating drive of “One Step Closer”, before sliding into the raw and raucous electric blues, of the explosive “Goodbye”. This is Bruce at his absolute rocking best.
The template switches to dominant acoustic, on the mid-tempo swing of “Blue Moonlight”, where Engler’s emotive voice again makes its point. The insistent guitar strum, and mellifluous whistle on “Go Back”, introduces another melodic gem.
“Read the Signs” keeps the rhythmic train running insistently, and represents another writing collaboration with DownTown Mystic. As with most of Bruce Engler’s music, substance, integrity and vigor are the operative words, all of which are copiously supplied on “Letter To My Brother”. Even deeper introspection is delivered on the ballad, “Last Teardrop”, which is another DownTown Mystic cover.
Here again, Bruce Engler shines vocally on all levels. Injecting the song with just enough emotion and melodrama – not an easy task, as songs like these, can be easily transformed to overwrought and clichéd cheese with the wrong tones. “If We Believe” brings out all the muscle in Engler’s voice, as he pushes its limits, before closing the show with the previously unreleased bonus track – “Fiona 1999”.
As with all music by artists of the stature and longevity of Bruce Engler, where you go with it, is ultimately dependent on where you’ve been. Bruce’s sound, traces a path back to the greatness of rock n’ roll. Some need to relive it, others still need to discover it. Now Bruce Engler, in conjunction with DownTown Mystic, steps up to the plate to make sure both sides have “One More Chance”.