Sneaky Preview – Pre-order on Itunes or on Aaron’s website now!
Aaron D’Arcy is one of the most versatile musos in Melbourne. He can do it all and he does. He is all over this EEP. He does everything from vocals, production and the instruments.
This EEP is a real mix of styles, covering at least 7 of the 94 types of country music.
Good to see the girls again is a surprisingly uplifting, rollicking track, as Aaron tends to go more to the dark side. It is a toe tapper too. I also like an album or EEP to start with the title track…call me old fashioned, but I think that it is a cool thing.
Better Day is one of the singles that have already been lifted from this album and I personally think that it is one of Aaron’s best songs. It is very country and it is catchy and hopeful. It is a very hummable song.
Altered States – A good country twang and strum intro, with a touch of grunge and a mention of whiskey….it wouldn’t be an album by Aaron with out some trace of whiskey!
The Wind has also been released as a single. A story of escape, a story song in general and a song with more of an edge to it than some of the others on here.
New Year’s Resolution – A strongly influenced Dylanesque song especially with the phrasing, fast strumming and harp. One of my favourites on this EEP.
All Over the World – A promise of things to come, when travelling can actually happen again – a bit of a dreamer’s trip.
Take Me Again – Back down to the dark side. A bit of cool grungy and bluesy guitar and a walk on the wild side.
The songs on this EEP probably cover a lot of the emotions and stories that have entered our lives in the last 18 months or so, for the most part. I think that the key is looking for a better day, looking at the positives, trying to make plans for when things get better, reflecting on the ups and downs and just living with the things that we’ve had to live with. Musically, Aaron has put more light and shade into this EEP than he has before, with a more balanced look at life inspite and despite of the times.
Aaron is a gifted musician and a wonderful allrounder. He is ably assisted here by a small but quality crew. This is also a nod to the times how Michael Carpenter recorded Dani in Sydney while Aaron was in Melbourne. A lot of artists have had to record and produce things differently, from the music itself to videos and presentation.
Please pre-order this EEP, it has something for everybody and it will be even better LIVE when Aaron gets a chance to get back on stage and gets to belt out his tunes and fire up his guitars.
Good to see the girls again (Aaron D’Arcy)
Better Day (Aaron D’Arcy and Cameron Muncey)
Altered States (Aaron D’Arcy and Bruce Atherton)
The Wind (Aaron D’Arcy)
New Year’s Resolution (Aaron D’Arcy)
All over the world (Aaron D’Arcy)
Take Me Again (Aaron D’Arcy and Bruce Atherton)
Performed, Produced and Recorded by Aaron D’Arcy
Dani Young – Backing Vocals (recorded by Michael Carpenter)
1. “Life Is Beautiful” 2. “Love, Light, and Healing” 3. “Old Ways” 4. “Promised Land” 5. “Red River Valley” 6. “Life’s Railway to Heaven” 7. “Rock My Soul” 8. “Swing Down Chariot” 9. “‘Till I See You Again” 10. “Unclouded Day” 11. “When He Calls”
Mr Versatile, Dave Cobb is behind this album. The legendary Oak Ridge Boys have been around since before I was born. Their famous harmonies are wavering a little bit, but they can still crank out a mighty fine tune.
The idea was to put together an album of songs that they would probably sing on their porch together. I can see it, probably after church and a big lunch on a Sunday, with them chilling in the Sunshine singing some songs – nostalgic and family like. Not surprisingly, a lot of the songs are gospel like or at least have some kind of spirituality about them.
These songs have been put together during Covid to uplift and give hope. It is a good old fashion, gospel country album. Some of the songs are sad but a lot of Gospel songs are.
You can almost smell the fried chicken and mashed potato and feel the sun on your face and the dog barking in the yard. This is a trip down memory lane, a reminder of some songs that are timeless and effortless from a bunch of friends who have been together for a long time.
The core members of the group are still there, with others gone or moved on. The band started in 1947, and like Australia’s The Bushwackers, they have had a supporting cast of thousands.
Their big hits came in the 70’s and 80’s like Elvira and The All Come Back Saloon. They are not spring chickens anymore, but they are still in fine form. One young reviewer said that the second half of the album gets bogged down a bit with slow songs. Good grief, Hasn’t this young pup read the bible of country music?
I just wish that I had been on the porch singing with them.
First things first – I would like to thank Swifty for calling this album something easier to remember than Call out for The Cadburys, which was one of the best albums of the last 10 years, but gosh, I always got the name wrong. Oh wait, it was Call out for the Cavalry! A well rewarded album, and a stunner, it was always going to be hard to follow. As if a nod to the Cavalry, the first song is called Courting Calamity! You can hear the Wolfe sound in this one but it is also a great way to start an album.
Never Meant to Break Your Heart is an awesome song and it was a single from this album, to tease us. We have been singing this one for months and understanding the sentiment and the story behind it.
Head full of honey has also been released as a single. I have heard a rumour that it is even a merch. item….honey, that is. It is definitely a shower song…..the chorus is as catchy as a cold in a lift.
The title track is one of the best songs on the album. It is a bit different to Swifty’s other songs, but I love it. I’d go as far to say that it is one of my favourite songs that I have heard this year. I am really glad that I can show it off with my t-shirt now!
Right on Down is the only song on the album that Swifty hasn’t had a songwriting hand in. A train song always gets me in and this one, which was also released as a single, is a toe tapping, toot toot around the living room song.
One Breath at a time was co written with Jay O’Shea and you can tell. It is a beautiful love song and Swifty’s voice is so tender on this one. Simply breathtaking – pun intended.
She Loves to get high is a bit of a throwback to traditional country songs with a touch of Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine there too.
Say the Word has been on a lot of people’s play lists recently, a duet with the extremely popular rising star, Cass Hopetoun. I think that this song will fare very well at the Golden Guitars. I never would have thought of putting these two together in a duet but it works.
Good Kind of Giving In – Different again, reminds me of early 80’s late 70’s American band sound – (Thinking Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band) – cool song.
Taking the Blame – Pretty self explanatory song, great song and a declaration of sorts.
Holding My Tongue is probably a good way to end the album and perhaps an ironic song to follow the song before. A stunning song.
This album is fabulous. Call out For The Cadburys was incredible, a masterpiece, and I might have to say that this is in the same boat. I think that it is like comparing apples and oranges, they are both great, just different. This album shows more maturity, covers subjects and styles that can only be learned with age and experience. Swifty is still young, so it is incredible to think that he will still get better with even more age and experience.
He is in great hands with Matt Fell and Damian Cafarella and a bunch of great musicians, including the late great Glen Hannah, Josh, Gretta and Sam amongst others.
This album will feature on many best album lists for this year and for years to come. It has something for everybody and it is of its time.
1. Introducing Calamity 2. Courting Calamity (Swift and the Wolfe Brothers) 3. Never Meant To Break Your Heart (Swift and P Barton) 4. Head Full Of Honey (Swift and B.J Porter) 5. The Art Of Letting Go (A Swift and S Burgess) 6. Right On Down (N Di Claudio) 7. One Breath At A Time ( Swift, J. O’Shea) 8. She Loves To Get High (Swift) 9. Say The Word (feat. Cass Hopetoun) (Swift/ Barton) 10. Good Kind Of Giving In (Swift, Maher, Mac) 11. Taking The Blame (Swift/Valentine) 12. Holding My Tongue (Swift)
My hard copy hasn’t arrived yet, but I couldn’t wait to write about my dear friends (country music family members), The Weeping Willows. To keep folks like me out of the padded cell, (waiting for their album which was to be released last May), they have released this EEP. Black Crow will be featured on their up and coming album. Southern Gothic is another original and an instrumental.
Nick, Andy and Laura form the Aussie version of Peter, Paul and Mary, singing Hangman, an exquisite folk song. The Chuck Willis written, much sung song, C C Rider, made most popular by the King himself, Elvis Presley is sung in a cross version of the original and Elvis’s version, giving it a fresh approach.
Though The Weeping Willows rarely sing covers – (why would they when they write such great stuff themselves) – sing a song here which they often sing as a final number in their gigs – One Kind Favour. I think that this is the first time that they have actually recorded it, despite making it part of their show for so long.
Ironically, They sing Ain’t No Ash Will Burn, written by Walt Aldridge, whose daughter, Hannah is a frequent visitor to our shores in normal times and who opened for The Weeping Willows in Tamworth at their pseudo album preview. It is a beautiful song, which Hannah does a great version of too.
I can’t do a review of this EEP without mentioning Long Black Veil. Easily one of the most popular folk and country songs of all time, made famous by Lefty and Mr Cash amongst others. Andy’s voice fits the song like a perfect match and his perfect match, Laura, adds the haunting quality, which she often does.
The Weeping Willows are not prolific music release people. They go for quality rather than quantity. Hopefully, the album which I have heard in its entirety at gigs and previews (bar tweaking and studio polish), will be on the way soon, but until then, this mixture of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue will keep their pseudo bridesmaid and their growing fan base and cult fan base happy. Thank you Laura and Andy for providing another stunning piece of work and pleasure for all of us. Vocally and instrumentally, this is a treasured gift.
01. The Weeping Willows – Southern Gothic 02. The Weeping Willows, Nick Charles – Hangman (The Gallows Tree) (feat. Nick Charles) (written by hendler, Travers, Okun, Stookey and Yarrow) 03. The Weeping Willows – C.C. Rider (Chuck Willis) 04. The Weeping Willows – Long Black Veil (Dill/Wilkin) 05. The Weeping Willows – One Kind Favour (See That My Grave Is Kept Clean) (Blind Lemon Jefferson) 06. The Weeping Willows – Ain’t No Ash Will Burn (Walt Aldridge) 07. The Weeping Willows – Black Crow
Engineered and mixed by Roger Bergodaz, with special guests Nick Charles Music, Luke Moller and David Piltch. Mastered by Adam Dempsey of Deluxe Mastering. Photography thanks to Ian Laidlaw.
Long Black Electric Cadillac; Mississippi Phone Booth; The Music Is Hot; All The Lilacs In Ohio; I’m In Asheville; Light Of The Burning Sun; Little Goodnight; Buddy Boy; Changes In My Mind; Keen Rambler; Sweet Dream.
One genius on an album is amazing, two? Well, that is just almost too much for a fan to cope with. John Hiatt has romanced us women with his music for many moons. Jerry has played with everybody bar Mickey Mouse over the years and neither of them get the credit they deserve, though Jerry, after a thousand years in the biz is starting to get officially rewarded for his immense talent. This album is not bubble and squeak (Aussie for leftovers). Though, I do like a serve of bubble and squeak for breakfast and pasta dishes and casseroles are always better the next day. I have played John Hiatt’s music many times when I have been in love and then when my heart has been broken. Life is like that, good music is like that, it makes you feel – in the moment and when you need it to heal you.
Nothing has changed. His husky voice and gentle melodies always make me go on to live another day. He can rock it, blues it and country it. He can make a ballad allow you to see the truth and hide from it if you want to.
There are some amazing songs on here, some which I gather are autobiographical or at least based on someone that he knows. Light of the Burning Sun and All the Lilacs in Ohio are just amazing. All of the album is incredible, but these two songs ….oh.
The last song, Sweet Dream is classic Hiatt. I’m in Asheville is a future classic. The Music is Hot is not what you think it is. It has some of the most amazing lyrics as Hiatt paints his pictures. Waylon and Johnny and others get a great mention.
Buddy Boy may be heading to the West but the sound is very down South. All of the songs are amazing and John and Jerry weave their magic and soothe you, heal you and transfer you to another place and time.
Have a Little Faith, Feels Like Rain, are John Hiatt classics, and some of the songs on this album may eventually fall into the same category.
Hiatt has always crossed charts in music. His stuff does not stick to one code or one place in time. He is a man who just gets it, whether it is for men or women, he is universally understandable, relatable and loveable.
Two geniuses together….what more can a gal ask for?
01 Call It Home 02 Hiding Out In Tuscany 03 My Heart Goes With You 04 The More I Give 05 I’d Go Back Again 06 Mother to Me 07 Better Not To Know 08 Just Like It’s Mine 09 Heaven On Earth 10 Doing Fine
I am not finding much info on this album, but it does not matter. Just listen to it, and you will know how good it is. From what I can gather, Paula wrote or co-wrote the songs and I am not sure who produced it. It is hard with Itunes, and without reviews and credits, but I will just tell you how I feel.
I sent Paula a message the other day saying that this album is stunning, and it is. It is a blend of all of the genres that I love, folk, celtic, country. Paula mentions Those Were The Days in one of her songs here, and that is ironic, because her voice reminds me a tad of the original singer of that song.
All of the songs will touch somebody’s home base out there. There is a lot of emotion in these songs, you can not just hear it in the lyrics and music but also in her voice.
From the beautiful opening track, Call It Home, which has an Anne Kirkpatrick feel to the final track which will leave the hardest hearts with a tear in their eye, Doing Fine, this album is a treasure.
Hiding out in Tuscany resonates with me, as a gypsy/traveller who has been grounded in Victoria for a while with Covid and financial restrictions. It is a reminder of the itchy feet and the wonderful memories.
The title track, The More I Give starts out with a keys/piano intro and that always gets me in. It is true, as I get older, I can relate to the sentiments of this song.
Of all of the tracks on the album, I’d go back again brings up the most memories of my youth and makes me think longingly and lovingly of those days. Singing around the piano, I was probably one of the kids sleeping underneath the table and I often danced on the verandah. A good song does that. A good song is like an old photograph, or a favourite recipe. It reminds you of the good times.
Mother to Me could have been written about my Mum. I am sure that a lot of folks out there who were or are close to their mothers would feel the same way. Maybe not through music, but another talent that they had, and in the end, being a mother to you with all the love that goes with it is the most important thing.
Better Not to Know – Bluegrass meets Celtic, this is a little like what Kristy Cox would deliver. Some stunning strings and Paula’s voice lilts and soars. I can see the film clip for this in my head.
Just Like It’s Mine is a gorgeous song. It is a waltz, a sad song, a pure portrait. Probably my favourite song on the album.
Heaven on Earth – we all have our place somewhere that we call our little piece of heaven on earth, usually amongst friends and family and all of the things that we love….it doesn’t have to be a tropical island or a palace, it is just the place where we feel good.
I touched on Doing Fine at the beginning. A great way to end the album, have a box of tissues handy.
This is one of my favourite albums of the year, so far. It has simple messages, stories that we can all relate to on some level.
I am going to say a few words about this EEP (more than 4 tracks less than 10), then I will let Immy say her rundown of the songs.
I think everyone knows the story by now of how I first saw and heard about Imogen Clark at The Tudor Hotel in Tamworth, quite a few years ago now when she was very young and a fill in for an artist who couldn’t make it due to other commitments. Her voice just floored me, and it has ever since.
Imogen is never one to do things the same. She does everything so differently and re-invents herself constantly. However there are two constants, her amazing voice and her wonderful songwriting. She has gone through a lot in her young life and a lot of it is in her music, told honestly (sometimes brutally honest) and always with a lot of emotion and heart. Imogen can sing any genre, though I still think that alt. country/folk is her strongest area, but she can rock it, power ballad it, or what ever else she wants to do, because no mountain is too high for her to climb in music.
The songs involve some top notch singer/songwriters and powerhouses. Benmont Tench, for God’s sake! Colin Hay, Timothy James Bowen, amongst others. There are some hard hitting subjects here, Immy never shies away from issues or circumstances. There are a few different styles and many different images. These are songs here that will make you sympathise, empathise and understand. The song about Glen will make you feel and possibly shed a tear (I did). Music is always a great therapy session, whether you are writing it, singing it, playing it or just listening to it. It is a way to vent, let your emotions flow and get rid of all of the ‘stuff’. It is also the way to paint a picture, leave an imprint, take care of business. It is a way of showing your strengths, weaknesses, letting it all hang out.
Imogen Clark is still young. She has a long and full career ahead of her, lots of stories to tell and lots of rivers to cross. She is a dynamo, the complete package. We are lucky to have her.
Here’s Imogen’s descriptions of her songs. I think that the originator can say it best.
IMOGEN CLARK – BASTARDS EP
Forget About London (Imogen Clark, Eilish Gilligan)
In the middle of 2019, I went through a really tough breakup and was stranded in London for the aftermath. I got swept up by this guy – I was on the rebound and found myself falling for him – but in the end, he led me on and left me heartbroken. I came back to Australia thinking the change of scenery would help me get over it, but I couldn’t escape the now tainted memories of this romance. I walked into a writing session with Eilish Gilligan with all of this weighing me down, and we decided to write our best Taylor Swift style breakup banger. It’s fitting that a British rock legend – Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello and the Attractions – came up with that amazing drum pattern that anchors the track. It was his favourite track to play on, and I think it was his way of apologising on behalf of London for the shit I’d gone through there. Writing this song really helped me put all those memories in their proper place, and now I can’t wait to get back to the UK and play this song at a gig in London when that’s possible again.
Casualty (Imogen Clark, Sam Telford)
There’s no way to end a relationship without hurting somebody, even when it’s the right thing to do. Sam Telford and I wrote Casualty about holding on to something that deep down you know should be over – the sunk cost of still loving somebody when you know you can’t be with them. It really seemed like it needed to be a duet – my first time ever having another singer come in and sing the other half of the relationship – so I called my favourite person to sing with, Timothy James Bowen, and asked him to sing it with me. We’ve written and toured together many times over the years, and as soon as he opened his mouth in the studio, I couldn’t imagine the song without him. We were listening to a lot of jangly 90s rock when we cut this track and I think you can hear it in the way this came up. Even though it’s a kind of devastating song, it’s such a fun song to play live.
Eat You Alive (Imogen Clark, Justin Halpin)
This song is me talking to my younger self, giving myself the advice and warnings I wish someone had given me. When Justin Halpin and I wrote it, we talked about mistakes I’ve made, disappointments I’ve let myself put up with and time I’ve wasted willing something to work when it just didn’t. When you rationalise away what your heart and gut are telling you and let yourself get comfortable in a situation you know you don’t belong in, it eats away at you over time. We recorded this a few weeks after my first gig back since COVID, and having my keyboardist Sarah Belkner and bass player Zoe Hauptman come in and put down those beautiful backing vocals, like a Greek chorus surrounding me on the song, it was one of my favourite moments in the recording process.
Never This Time (Imogen Clark, Taylor Goldsmith, Jason Boesel)
Two things run in my family: anxiety and alcoholism. I’ve struggled with the former for as long as I can remember, and I’ve seen the latter ruin so many people in my life. I’ve always been scared to talk about it or write about it, but somehow Taylor Goldsmith, from my favourite band Dawes, and Jason Boesel from Rilo Kiley created such a safe space for me to confront this when we wrote together. The heartbreaking thing about alcoholism is how it twists people you love, turns them into strangers. This song is about something I’ve learned the hard way – you can give people chance after chance, let them make promises to you and break them, but in the end, if they don’t want to change, there’s nothing you can do. You just have to cut the cord before they drag you down with them. Having Jason’s incendiary drums on the record gives it such a cathartic energy. I had to tap into something so raw to write this song, and I think you can hear that in the finished track.
First Class Man (Imogen Clark, Colin Hay)
When I was 14 and just getting started as a musician, I met an incredible guitarist named Glen Hannah. Glen became an instant mentor to me and was a key part of some of the biggest, most important musical milestones of my life, including the first time I played with a band and the first big crowd I ever played in front of. Glen came on the road with me a lot towards the end of his life as the musical director of my band, and was a constant presence on the other end of a phone call when I needed advice from someone with experience and wisdom who I knew only had my best interests at heart. In 2019, Glen lost his battle with depression, a battle I had no idea he was waging through the years we knew each other. It really goes to show that you never know what people are going through under the surface, and Glen was a classic example of the phrase “still waters run deep”. He was one of the most humble, talented, kind and generous people I knew, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about Glen and wish I could have done something to help. When I sat down in LA pre-pandemic to write with one of my songwriting heroes Colin Hay, I knew he would be able to help me get these feelings out into a song which was proving too hard to write on my own. The song is for Glen and everyone who misses him, and I hope it reminds everyone to always check up on your friends and family if you think there’s a chance they might be hurting, because you’ll always regret it if you don’t.
Bastards (Imogen Clark)
I’ve been playing in bars since I was twelve years old, so I’ve spent half my life keeping my chin up in the face of every type of entitled, gross and patronising male behaviour you can come across. Even with all the anxiety that was roiling through my veins all the time, it forced me to build up a thick skin, and recognise those same types of people as an adult when I have to deal with them in life or the music business. This song is basically a way of saying ‘Fuck you, I see through you and I don’t need you’. It’s a reminder to never let the bastards grind you down, because being underestimated can be a powerful position. While someone is busy undervaluing your abilities, you’ll be running circles around them and they won’t know what hit them. I wanted this song to feel like a Molotov cocktail, especially in the choruses. Having two rock icons – Pete Thomas and Benmont Tench – on the track, gives it such a powerful energy. I love closing this record and my sets with this song, leaving that energy on the stage and hopefully sending some girls in the crowd home with a fire in their bellies.
One of the reasons that I moved to Victoria was to help, in some small way, a few amazing artists that I had heard in Tamworth and Sydney on their visits up north and through friends. What I didn’t expect, was to find even more artists down here who are absolutely amazing. So many wonderful singer/songwriters and it is literally like falling over them in the streets. One of those was Dom Italiano, who is such a fantastic guy but also a brilliant guitarist and singer and a wonderful songwriter. About a year after, I met Rosie, and then they started making EEPs, which will have them in the Guinness Book of World Records soon as the duo with the most EEPs. (more than 4 songs, less than 10) – Separately, these two are amazing artists, together, they are phenomenal.
I like to call them Simdom and Girlfunkel, they are very reminiscent of that similarly named two from the 60’s and early 70’s. These EEPs have been teasers. When they release their album (coming soon), we will all eat it up, for sure.
The title track is done two ways, and to be honest, you hardly know that they are the same song, they are done so differently. For folks who doubt that country exists anymore, take a listen to the opening version of this song, Some Folks is for all folks.
The Acoustic version of Get Out of the Way is one of the most beautiful tracks this year. Dom’s guitar work in this is just stunning and the harmonies are amazing. Their voices were meant to be shared.
Love Don’t Say You Knew is a great storytelling song, an interesting twist on a love song.
There’s Someone for You is just magic. It is a bit sad and a bit hopeful and just lovely. A real treat.
The aforementioned title track different version acts as a bookend (another Simon and Garfunkel link!) to the other version. This is a definite teaser for the album, with Dom being prolific last year writing thousands of songs (literally).
While Dom and Rosie’s songs cross genres, they are deeply rooted in country folk. They had quite a few gigs to do but unfortunately, Victoria’s Covid lock down has stopped that for a while.
I am looking forward to seeing them again and hearing the new album….in the meantime, folks, check this out.
4. Cassidy’s Blues (Kelly Brouhaha/ Margaret King)
5. Blackbird (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
6. Benjamin (Kelly Brouhaha)
7. As Long As There’s A Smile (Kelly Brouhaha)
8. Audrey’s Song (Kelly Brouhaha)
9. I’m Gonna Miss Ya (Kelly Brouhaha)
10. 40,000 Star Hotel (Kelly Brouhaha /Aleyce Simmonds)
You could find her in a smoky bar room in New York, under the 40,000 stars in the desert, on a stage at a stadium full of 20,000 adoring fans, at a house concert in Carrum Downs or up to her elbows in mud at Gympie or a small hotel in Melbourne and Kelly Brouhaha would be at home.
If Paul McCartney heard Kel sing Blackbird, he would be over the moon. If Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee and Janis Joplin could return from where ever they went, they would sing alongside Kelly with pride. Ella Fitzgerald would be smiling too.
Yes, there is something beautifully familiar about the South Australian, but also wonderfully unique in a world which is often copycat. I defy you not to go around going Woo Hoo, Woo Hoo all day….even Bruber and I have been guilty of that.
I am an acoustic nut, that is my thing, so it was an easy sell from that perspective. The Adelaidian (a term which I have just learned, and sounds like a yodeller to me) comes from a place where they keep churning out great singers, or, indeed, there have been many who have migrated there from other states….i.e. Amber Joy Poulton, Beccy Cole, Libby O’Donovan, Melody Moko, Michaela Jenke, Sandra Humphries, Susan Lily, etc, so she is in great company.
Along with an amazing voice, she is a gifted songwriter and travelling around with Beccy and Libby and co. would have given her great confidence and experience with big crowds and under the wing of one of the greatest entertainers of all time (Cole) can’t have hurt either.
She has a maturity beyond her years and her music is surely testament to that. She is sounding like a seasoned veteran and this album, and no doubt a series of concerts will only hasten her rise in popularity and success.
She has a great soul. These songs are all well crafted, well chosen and can be listened to over and over again.
If this girl does not go far, then I am a bad judge, and that can’t be true, as I have excellent taste.
If you ask any Country Music fan who their top 5 artists are of the last few decades, mostly, they will put Alan Jackson in their list. I remember being in Hawaii in 1995 and I was talking country with some folks and they asked who my faves in America were – male artists. I said Randy and Vince, with Kris being my fave songwriter. They were from Texas and said, yeah,, everybody says that, have you heard about Alan Jackson? I said, sure, a bit. They said, dig deeper, and of course, I did. I ended up buying his stuff for myself and my parents.
21 tracks is mammoth, but understandable after such a long break. I am so happy that a lot of my American Country heroes from the 90’s and early 2000’s come back with albums.
There is nothing like an Alan Jackson ballad. He has all the elements there of great country songs – whiskey and other alcohol , heartbreak, love, country music gone wrong and grief and sadness. There is twang, fiddles, all the things that you would expect from the real country albums. Alan has the touch. He knows how to reach us, teach us and make us feel like we are in a certain situation and how to deal with it.
When I first heard a country song from Alan, I was hooked. His lyrics carry on. I know of people who don’t even know country music who say it is 5.00 o’clock somewhere, who say that they remember 911 because of his song, who love his songs that deal with the heart and the soul and make you think and feel.
This album reminds me of the simple things. It takes me back to a field of wheat or barley at our old farm, takes me to my days on my horse riding through the fields, to my first loves, to blue, open skies and to times which were simple and happy.
I have had a stressful week and this album makes me relax and mellow out. It does its job. Things that Matter sums that up. Alan follows a certain path. He has a way of lulling you into a certain sense of security. He just makes you feel hugged and loved and happy.
He can up the ante as well. I am more a fan of his mellow songs, but he throws in a few bootscooting songs and uptempo tracks.
There are some very personal tracks on here, for his daughter’s wedding and another for is mother’s funeral. That is Alan’s way and the country music way, it is about real life and real emotion.
This guy is one of the finest country music artists who has ever lived. He deserves every kudo that he receives.