Annie Brobst: ‘My First Rodeo’ Album Review

Annie Brobst is one of New England’s most talented country singer/songwriters. In addition to being our very own New England Country Music Local Female Artist of the Year winner in both 2017 and 2018, she has also taken home the 2017 New England Music Award’s Female Performer of the Year and the 2018 WOKQ 97.5’s Hometown Riser (Powered by Taste of Country). She has opened for many national acts including Miranda Lambert, Dustin Lynch, and LOCASH. Brobst has accumulated thousands of followers on social media and a very loyal fan base, known as the ABB Army, that attend lots of her shows! After making the move from Ohio to Massachusetts a few years ago, Brobst began working as a teacher on the north shore. Eight years of teaching later, she decided that music was her true calling. Now she is among the top players of the country music scene here in New England.

We, at NECM, are so excited for the release of Annie Brobst’s latest album! The twelve-track record titled ‘My First Rodeo’ is set to drop on Saturday June 2nd. A testament to her true talent, Annie Brobst cowrote all twelve songs. Brobst has an angelic voice that just draws you in and leaves you wanting to hear more. This album is a compilation of personal stories. Annie mentioned “some tunes are directly about my life and things I’ve done and some are about friends’ and their lives.” She described the album as “a mix of bro-country and traditional country.” Every track tells a tale, though many of them are about relationships and break-ups. One of the best qualities of this album is that each and every song is unique and has its own distinct feeling. Take a listen, you’ll surely enjoy it as you’re sitting on the beach with your friends this summer!

1. ‘Before I Leave’ – Written by Annie Brobst, Patrick Crean, and Ryan Dupont.
Impression: With Memorial Day having just passed, the thoughts of remembering those that have died protecting our country are fresh in all of our minds. This song opens with Chris Bloniarz on organ and Eva Walsh on fiddle. The combination of these two instruments draws the listener in with a patriotic feel. ‘Before I Leave’ is written about somebody who is in the military, or a police officer/firefighter, that is leaving home and ends up making the ultimate sacrifice. In parts, there is an echo behind Annie’s voice, adding a chilling feeling to this piece. Anyone with ties to the military or civil service will relate to the meaning of this song. Adding electric guitar to the chorus has made it punchy. The lyrics tug at your heart: Can you hear me callin’. Do you know I’ve fallin’. Can you feel me crawlin’. I can’t get to you. It’s the perfect powerful song to open up ‘My First Rodeo.’
Favorite Lyrics: It’s not the job that I’m afraid of. It’s never coming home to you.

2. ‘Still Water’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Rodger Hagopian.
Impression: The second track is a vibrant, fun-loving song. It’s fast paced, and upbeat. Filled with a bit of fiddle and lots of acoustic guitar, it has a more traditional country feel. The kind of song that has you tapping your fringed leather boots along to the beat. At any of Brobst’s full-band shows, you will find a group of energetic fans line-dancing to this tune!
Favorite Lyrics: All I want to do is leave out all the rest. And tell you that I miss you, you deserve the very best.

3. ‘Love You More’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont.
Impression: This was the first single to be released from ‘My First Rodeo.’ Annie described this one as a “feel good tune.” It has that pop-sound to it that makes it enjoyable to listen to. ‘Love You More’ is a twist on the standard love song. It describes a relationship and how good it is: Everything about you makes me weak. Darlin’ you bring me to my knees.
Favorite Lyrics: Baby I love you more…Than I ever could love myself.

4. ‘Change of Heart’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont.
Impression: Starting off with dominant fiddle sounds, the opening line is the strong: “You ain’t the same girl that you used to be.” According to Annie, “It’s very empowering when I’m singing it.” The crowd seems to relate to this line and often lets out a cheer. This song is about having a change of heart, falling out of love and breaking-up. Musically, the fiddle and acoustic guitar provide a traditional country vibe. This is the very first co-write that Annie and Ryan did together.
Favorite Lyrics: I hope you change for the better. It’s not the pain that you remember. And you can curse his name and ask the lord above. Why there’s a change of heart in all of us.

5. ‘We Were Breakin’ Up’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont.
Impression: This is perhaps the most up-beat break-up song! It tells the story of a break-up that happened on an unusually warm, rainy Monday during the winter. With a quick beat, and fast lyrics, it’s quite catchy!
Favorite Lyrics: I was breaking down cause we were breakin’ up.

6. ‘Ghost’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Rodger Hagopian.
Impression: Perhaps Brobst’s most well-known song, this is her very first original that she cowrote with Rodger six years ago. It is the title track off her first EP and even has a music video to go along with it. ‘Ghost’ is filled with deep, personal meaning and describes Brobst’s move from Columbus, Ohio to Massachusetts.
Favorite Lyrics: When I know, I’m now alone. And I made it through the war of sticks and stones. I’m not unscathed. But I’m not afraid. To find the strength inside to finally say. I’m moving out.

7. ‘Whiskey Colors’ – Written by Annie Brobst, Ryan Dupont, and Rodger Hagopian.
Impression: The most “bro-country” style tune on the album, it has a rock-country feel. ‘Whiskey Colors’ has a few added harmonies from another local country band, Scarlett Drive. As Annie said “They have put some of the most beautiful oooos and ahhhhs on the background of the chorus and have really made it come to life.”
Favorite Lyrics: A blue t-shirt that matches you eyes. Just like the label that you always buy. How can I ever pick just one of all your whiskey colors.

8. ‘What’s a Girl Gotta Do’ – Written by Annie Brobst, Rodger Hagopian and Drew Smith.
Impression: Brobst brings it down a notch with the slower pace of this track. She sings about being alone: I can see what I need is to find me without you. She details how she spends her time driving around all night, hoping to find a little peace before the sun comes up.
Favorite Lyrics: I used to be able to do this on my own. But now I can’t sleep through the sound of being alone.

9. ‘You Either Love Me Or You Don’t’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Rodger Hagopian.
Impression: This is a fun, country jam that brings you back in time. You can picture this being played at a little honky-tonk bar down south! It describes a series of ultimatums: You don’t want to marry me. You either love me or you don’t. You don’t want a baby. You either love me or you don’t. The best part is the little “yee-haw” at the end!
Favorite Lyrics: Now you’re crying like a baby. But honey I really need to know. And it really ain’t that difficult. It’s just a simple yes or no.

10. ‘The Teacher’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont.
Impression: Track ten is a catchy song that will have you singing along in no time. ‘The Teacher’ is about how we should all never stop learning from our experiences in life: Some things teach you how to fall in love. Some things teach you how to hold a grudge. One particular line in this song was inspired by a conversation Annie was having with a good friend, while discussing how much they both love life: “The only thing in life worse than regret, has gotta be wishin’ we never met.” 
Favorite Lyrics: Well I still know that I’ve got a whole world to learn. So thank God, life’s one hell of a teacher.

11. ‘Paper Weight’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Rodger Hagopian.
Impression: Paper Weight originally made its debut on Brobst’s EP ‘Ghost.’ It’s about being held down in a relationship and finding the strength to break free. It’s a clear fan-favorite, and has it’s own fan lip-sync video on YouTube. You can check out all the fun here. Whether you’ve recently ended a relationship or not, this song is one that you’ll crank up in the car with the windows rolled down.
Favorite Lyrics: Paper weight, you’re holdin’ nothing down. You’re losing it, so get a grip cause I was made to fly around.

12. ‘Best Worst Idea’ – Written by Annie Brobst and Brian Alex.
Impression: With the acoustic guitar sounds being very subtle in the background, this piece really showcases Brobst’s sweet sounding voice. At twenty-eight seconds, this is the shortest song on the album. It is the true story of a two-year relationship coming to an end. The new relationship is the ‘best worst idea.’                                                                                                  Favorite Lyrics: In the end there won’t be no more you and me. This time the boy don’t get the girl.

Annie Brobst’s weekly schedule is jam-packed with both acoustic gigs and high energy full band shows. She has an amazing list of events coming up this summer including our very own New England Country Music Festival, presented by The Harbor Agency, at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. If you haven’t already grabbed your tickets, you can to do so here. Be sure to stay connected with Annie on social media for an updated list of events. You can check her out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can purchase ‘My First Rodeo’ on iTunes here.