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ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Mississippi-bred singer-songwriter guitarist Jason Eady comes up with a worthy follow-up album to 2014 release Daylight/ Dark in the self-titled, acoustic driven Jason Eady. It isn't the only good album he's ever made either.
Eady once again calls on Kevin Welch to produce, and with exquisite fiddle, pedal steel, Dobro, plus banjo, mandolin, harmony vocals and acoustic guitar, bass and percussion the album is gem. His timbre rich vocals become are easy fitting as an old shoe as the harmonies of his wife Courtney Patton and on one track (“No Genie In This Bottle”) Vince Gill join him. The sound isn’t just a good one but like if it were sent straight from heaven. You only need to hear the work of opening song “Barabbas” to have your taste buds fueled as his lyrics (and voice) enjoy the exquisite accompaniment of acoustic guitar, Dobro, pedal steel guitar and harmony vocals.
Eady is all country music fans of a catholic taste could possibly wish for as he plies his songs with tales of honky tonk barrooms and the heartache that often as not precede them. A fan of Merle Haggard, Guy Clark and Willie Nelson Eady models his spare songwriting style on them. Everything is kept real simple, and though the above are different they were/are true craftsmen. Haggard with his roving tales of America’s West Coast and life of the blue collar workingman; Clark with his diary like notes, observations included meticulously shaped into story songs of classic proportion, and then you have Willie Nelson. He dates back to the late 1950s, his exploits in country music legendary the mould was thrown away when Willie was born. As a songwriter his early work especially he owed as much to the American classics as it did to what then was country music, but his songs like those of Merle Haggard they are of the people.
Back to the music, “Barabbas” has him speak of gaining a second chance, and on moving down south he grabs hold of it with both hands. On drawing from the high lonesome sound of modern bluegrass Eady comes up trumps with “Drive”. It’s a killer tune ! (so impressive you would swear he learnt his trade with one of the bluegrass greats). He follows it with an equally impressive, warmed in exquisite Dobro and fiddle “Black Jesus”, with its humble, beautiful story-based lyrics he mops up. With an urge and feel to wander “Why I Left Atlanta” produces an earthy sound, likewise could be said of fiddle (Tammy Rogers) back roads styled “Rain”.
On a tender note, he does the mournful ballads equally as good, if not better. As heard on regal piece “Where I’ve Been”. It is here he bears his soul, but won’t tell where he’s been (heart-tugging country and otherwise balladry at its best). “Waiting To Shine” has him hit the road running, as his music is propelled Terry Allen fashion. While steeped in cryin’ steel and fiddle “Not Too Loud” pulls on your heartstrings as he speaks of what might have been, and he ends in a similar vein with simple half-spoken poetic ode “40 Years”. When it comes to listing my favourite top-ten albums of the year Eady will undoubtedly come into the reckoning as one of the leaders! In fact I will go as far as to say you won't hear a better album of its kind this YEAR.
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