The Ottawa native Norm Brunet has a sound and an aesthetic that perfectly encapsulates all that makes southern country rock compelling. His latest single, titled So Long, is a case in point.

A lifelong resident of Ottawa, Norm has made a living for the past 10 years touring the southern states, playing his music in clubs and pubs and anywhere he could. Since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic his livelihood has been rendered nearly obsolete, which was greatly challenging for Norm, like thousands of other working artists, and this desolation of hope is what drove him to pen down So Long, a song about living through that endlessly dark period, and surviving long enough to see the light at the other end of the tunnel.

So Long is a perfectly emotive piece of country rock. Norm’s smoky gnarls are full of character and conviction, his lyrics are deep and thoughtful. The composition is simplistic but where it packs a punch is with the balance between light and dark sections, with the arrangement also carefully bolstering this, as the slide guitar wails during the melancholic sections, and the twangy rhythm guitar picks up in the lighter, more hopeful section. The colorful, melodic, and approachable solo is a sure winner, with its delicious overdriven tone and emotional choice of notes.

Norm Brunet is one among many many other artists who deserve a lot for their vigilance and perseverance during the darkness of the pandemic, and with this release, I can see things finally begin to look brighter for him. I wish upon him clear sailing and blue skies from here on.