“Singer-songwriter/producer Reilley is formerly of The New Dylans and has cuts by Vince Gill, Hal Ketchum, Jack Ingram, and Sam Bush.”
“Today his band probably would be played on AAA radio and maybe would have even won a few Americana Music Association awards. But in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s, the band that Jim Reilley founded with co-writer Reese Campbell, The New Dylans, was lumped in with the “folk-rock” contingent. The New Dylans spent years living in vans and motels, opening for legendary acts and recording two critically-acclaimed albums on Red House Records. The New Dylans had such ardent supporters as Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs and REM’s Michael Stipe. Signed to Curb Music Publishing as a staff writer, for the next eight years Reilley labored in the song mill, garnering dozens of cuts on such country artists as Vince Gill, Hal Ketchum, Jack Ingram and others. He became a fixture on Music Row, a man known as a writer’s writer who could produce both viable product for country radio and top-notch material to fit his own artistic endeavors.”
"Intricate narratives poetically rendered, these songs have the makings of offbeat classics."
"Jim Reilley has re-emerged with a wonderful solo album called THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL. The album actually sounds a bit like the Wallflowers, only with better lyrics and less chance of mass success...although this stuff is pretty accessible to be so cool sounding. Jim Reilley's built a better Wallflower."
"...great line after great line: 'Hard times in the kissin' booth'; 'I may be dumb but I ain't stupid'. Somebody hurry up and make this guy famous."
"...poignant, empathetic and blazingly literate."
"Absolutley brilliant! Reilley's voice can be found somewhere in the triangle of Dylan-Costello-Forbert. As for his music, as far as we're concerned, none of the recent efforts of the above mentioned three even comes close to this here one. This is rootspop with a capitol R! Call it a red letter album, a certitude for our year's end best list of 2003!"
"The former New Dylan (Jim Reilley) phrases and rhymes much like the Old Dylan...then metamorphoses miraculously into Jimmy Webb, gilding melodies worthy of Glen Campbell...climaxing with "So Much For My Brilliant Career", an underachievers catharsis if ever there was one. Three and one-half paper cups out of five."
"One bummer after another, but exquisitely written bummers at that. Terrific and heartbreaking!"
"THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL is a sensational collection of powerful folk-pop"
"My first reaction to hearing THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL was to send a copy to Jacob Dylan with a note saying, 'This is what The Wallflowers are supposed to sound like'. Reilley has crafted an irresistable roots rock sound and if there is any point in calling someone a 'new Dylan' anymore, Reilley certainly fits the bill in the best possible sense."
"Quiet acoustic ballads for the soul, true storyteller work up there among the greatest classical authors. Exceptionally top quality!"
"On his debut solo cd THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL, singer Jim Reilley's rapid-fire delivery is a whirlwind of memorable lyrics and soulful vocals. The microscopic detail in Jim Reilley's songs reveals the sharp contrast between what people do as opposed to what they say. Jim Reilley is an original who wouldn't know how to conform, and that's why his new cd THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL, is so special."
"Wow! Folk pop cool, old school. This is one fabulous record! What's really shocking about THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL is the glaring consistency of the songs, all 14 of them...a bittersweet and self-effacing view of love, life and work. The lyrics are tragiocomic works of folk pop art. The music is precious, beautiful melodies and changes and arrangements that speak to lifetimes of experience. THE RETURN OF BUDDY CRUEL is a great record."