By Anna Grace Usery
Andrew Bryant can usually be spotted in front of taps at the Growler or behind a stack of records at The End of All Music, but locals know him best under the bright lights with a guitar in hand at Proud Larry’s and other southern holes-in-the-wall.
Bryant is the co-founder of Water Valley, Mississippi rock band “The Water Liars”, which was founded in 2011. But it was his recent solo creation “Ain’t It Like the Cosmos” released earlier this year that landed him as the No. 6 Best Southern Album of the Year by The Bitter Southerner, a digital publication that specializes in telling the South’s story — “the one we live in today and the one we hope to create in the future.”
“The album’s inspiration and idea came from the same place all my inspirations do — just living and reflecting on what that means,” Bryant said. “I try to stop and take stock now and again and that usually comes through in my songwriting.”
The album boasts songs like “Robert Downey Jr.’s Scars”, “I Am Not My Father’s Son”, “Practical Man” and “Pay Your Rent” which detail contemplative experiences Bryant uses to make sense of life.
After listening to more than 2,500 songs to rank the best southern albums of the year, those at The Bitter Southerner boldly state Bryant created the most southern lyric of the entire year: “Lord, ain’t it bittersweet, this place we call our home? Ain’t it like the cosmos to light up the magnolias at dawn? in his song ‘Bittersweet.’”
Cedric Burnside’s “Benton County Relic” with was the only other Mississippi-based album that made the list. Burnside, the grandson of blues stalwart R. L. Burnside, is from Holly Springs.