Although he's best-known for writing bigger names' hits, Texas-based songwriter Bruce Robison continues to have a creatively rich singing career alongside his wife and fellow Americana mainstay Kelly Willis and, more recently, with his Back Porch Band.
Born in Bandera, Texas on June 11, 1966, Bruce Ben Robison was raised with fellow singer-songwriters in brother and Jack Ingram collaborator Charlie Robison and sister Robyn Ludwick. His self-titled debut album arrived in 1996, the same year he married Willis. Since then, he's wrote the songs his home state sings, namely future Dixie Chicks hit "Travelin' Soldier" and George Strait's "Wrapped."
Unless otherwise noted, Robison wrote these 10 standout songs from his catalog, performed either solo or with his famous kin.
10. "Sweet Dreams"
For a more recent example of Robison's talents, check out this cut about small town living off 2017's Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band, a hidden roots treasure recorded on analog tape.
9. "Rayne, Louisiana"
First heard as a duet with brother Charlie, this cut off Wrapped wraps one of Bruce's better sets of lyrics in a swampy, acoustic folk package.
8. "What Would Willie Do?"
It turns out that Robison looks to fellow Texan Willie Nelson and not the Lord for wisdom and guidance in trying times, per this send-up of country-gospel tunes.
7. "I'll Go To My Grave Loving You"
This harmony showcase from a harmonious marriage stands out among the many solid songs recorded over the years by Robison and Willis. It's originally by the Statler Brothers' Don Reid.
This song associated with Strait and Don Williams wasn't penned by Robison, but it rarely sounded better than it did when he recorded it with Willis in 1998.
5. "The Good Life"
An upbeat number that's part dancehall packer, part potential Dwight Yoakam hit is one of the more Texas-sounding songs off Robison's Long Way Home From Anywhere album. It's credited to "Rock and Roll Honky Tonkin' Ramblin' Man" songwriter Joe Dickens.
4. "My Brother and Me"
Rich storytelling, built on relatable characters that could hail from any small town, carries this multi-generational story about a Texas family with a pair of musically talented brothers.
3. "Angry All the Time"
The list closes out with three famous hits later cut by Nashville stars. Let's start with this future Tim McGraw and Faith Hill hit, originally sung by Robison and Willis.
The catchy title track off Robison's 1998 Lucky Dog Records release reached the second spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart via a 2007 Strait single.
1. "Travelin' Soldier"
One of the better-known songs from the Dixie Chicks' run of chart success was actually a cover of a Robison original. Others drawn to this tragic tale of a young man serving in Vietnam include Sheryl Crow, Ty England and Aaron Lewis.
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