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CAT#: ULY029
ARTIST: John R. Brusseau
DATE: 06/21/2024
FORMAT: Cassette

PRICE: $15

John R. Brusseau is a ~66-year-old Christian-Jungian thinker, author and spiritual counselor from Priceville, Alabama. For several years, via his website/blog called The Priceville Times, he shared his sprawling, passionate essays that explore the conundrums of modern Christianity and the uphill battle that lies before the contemporary human spirit. There, Brusseau also shared 26+ albums of his own home-recorded music, each winkingly titled ‘Greatest Hits Vol. XX.’ Some of those albums were, as you might have guessed, also quietly sitting deep down on a murky ridge of one of Spotify’s many abysmal, unexplored trenches — which is of course where we found him in the first place. We became enamored with this man’s beguiling voice. Enamored with his complex heart, both tender-loving and confidently incisive. We compiled a playlist of our favorites and set out to find John R. Brusseau with hopes to obtain permission to share this music with you — yes YOU! — our thriving ULYSSA community. We did indeed track him down in 2022 and asked him about releasing his music, but he kindly demurred, saying he wasn’t interested in self promotion.
“I am a follower of Jesus and I really hate most Christian music,” Brusseau once wrote in an online forum. “I also compose and record a ton of Christian music. I also find Christian Churches to be almost completely unresponsive to God (too busy operating their programmed services). I write songs about what I am currently having to deal with, mostly. And I don’t care if they fit in any sort of Christian genre. I think most Christian songwriters couldn’t say that. I keep looking for someone who sounds sincere. It’s almost impossible. There are a few.”
Then, out of nowhere last summer, Brusseau reached back out to us. A Voice from On High had told him to let his words be heard far and wide. He thought of ULYSSA, of our earnest enthusiasm for his music. He is Man of God who wrestles day-in and day-out with the implications of institutions, promotion, ego, glut. And yet, here was tapping in with us, with ULYSSA. It can only be that Brusseau is 100% correct and that ULYSSA is on a mission from God. We are vessels of His will. Or maybe just two dummies pressing His will into limited, 100x cassette vessels and selling them on Bandcamp.
Luckily, when we first discovered his songs in the depths of Spotify a few years ago, we went right ahead ripped our favorite cuts into WAV files. And today, we present a collection of those songs called ‘Everybody Gets What They Want: The Gospel of John R. Brusseau.’ John’s songs cover many of the same topics as his essays. But often, they will waltz into the Romantic or wade into the foibles of the Military Industrial Complex. He makes inventive, loping econo-synth pieces that are both songwriterly and hypnotic. Direct-in guitar, programmed beats and exquisitely clumsy elephant march low end tones. Elegant and rudimentary New Age played on synth harp and even synthier horns. Brusseau’s strained, breathy voice leads us along this righteous path. Even in his most romantic songs, there’s a strange friction at play. A muffled primordial yalp. A white-knuckled attempt to keep one’s head. A frustration of never ever quite achieving escape velocity. Being humbled time and again under The Loving Thumb of God. He takes the piss out of the USA’s feats of derring do in the Middle East and where such efforts might put us in His eyes. Brusseau’s also down to get a little biblical-libinal now and again. His music might put one in the mind of Warren Zevon’s classic ‘Mutineer’ or Tuxedomoon’s shimmering, brilliant ‘You.’ 
Along with our favorite songs, we also saved a great deal of Brusseau’s theological essays. For ‘Everybody Gets What They Want’’s album art, we’ve constructed passages from said essays into a vibrant, rainbow’d text maze to which there is actually no exit. Put on those reading glasses and get in the pit. See you next eternity! 

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