DAVID BERKELEY “The Faded Red And Blue”, A Peaceful Protest

The United States is going through troubled times. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you sit; the US is fighting many cancers. One of the most significant ailments facing the nation right now is division.

This division runs deep, from disagreeing over policies to human rights, many Americans find themselves willingly huddled in a corner without room to budge. Many artists have spoken out on this harsh reality, yet David Berkeley does it differently in his newest EP, The Faded Red and Blue.

Check out the full article here on HAUS Music + Sound. 

ALBUM REVIEW: Rose Maddox, A Big Bouquet of Roses

Last weekend I went by one of my favorite vinyl spots, Trolley Stop, to dig for some Jody Miller albums. The owner, John, let me go to his back storage where he has multiple boxes of classic country lps. I was successful in finding many Millers, but I also came across an artist I don’t see often, Rose Maddox.

806a4aac7022870e4ada31adb4cd65f2The career of Maddox is largely a mystery to me and a lot of her career still remains this way. I knew she had hit songs, yet I couldn’t name them. I mostly heard her name when she had been cited as an influence to many greats like Dolly Parton, Kitty Wells, Wanda Jackson, and Emmylou Harris. So there has to be something about this lady.

My limited research foretold that Maddox started her career with her brothers, Fred, Cal, Cliff, Henry (after Cliff’s death in 1949), and Don. They performed what I would classify as “rhythmic country.” The music they performed ranged from bluegrass to classic country and a bit of early rockabilly. The band eventually dismembered and Rose set out on a solo career.

The album I found was 1961’s, A Bouquet of Roses. This album contains her top 20 hit, “Conscience, I’m Guilty.” It’s a mix of western swing and country. It contains the classic country and pop hit, “Lonely Street” and the rock and roll smash, “Jim Dandy.” The versatility of Maddox’s vocals are well on display in this bouquet.

My biggest take aways from this album are “Tall Men,” “Early in The Morning,” and “Read My Letter Once Again.” Maddox’s voice doesn’t flow over these tracks, it demands sentiment. She sings gently at times, yet she always has command. Her voice is a pillar of strength, portraying both a strong person with a gentle heart and one who isn’t to be messed with.

rosemaddoxFrom this album it is easy to see where the above mentioned singers found inspiration. Maddox was one of the first “flamboyant” western swing singers, wearing full rhinestoned, sequined, fringed, and ric-raced ensembles. Although her influence is obvious, she doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves. She should be mentioned with Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, yet I discovered her in a dusty shed.

Many founders are rarely recognized for their complete impact, but the greatest country stars have cited Maddox as an influence. It seems that she didn’t seek the spotlight, it looked for her. Her legacy is cemented in those who are performing today. The stars of yesterday look at her as an influence and today’s stars look at them as their influences.

So in essence, she may not be an obvious rose, but she has received a lot of water through the years. Her vocal style, fashion, and pioneering performances are mimicked time and time again.

maddox_rose_1377187743274Her legacy and influence is apparent through her voice. She’s heard all the way
from Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” to Miranda Lamberts “My Little Red Wagon.” You see, Rose’s voice is as pretty and soft as a rose petal, yet she can cut you with her thorns if you do her wrong.

That is the essence of the female country singer. They are always pretty, yet never mess with them, they have thorns, shotguns, and skillets. Maddox has taught me that’s not something new. They have had it them for a while.

INTERVIEW: More Than The Queen of The House, Cleaning Up With Jody Miller

I often say that you will discover the best people you will ever meet down a red dirt road. Last weekend I found out you will also find the best music down those same roads.

4py19c0rowb444yoI had the chance to sit down with Jody Miller. She invited me over to her home to sit down and talk about her career and life. As I walked up to the door of this country house, I felt right at home in the middle of a pasture with the red dirt still in the wind from my tires.

I received a hint from a friend of Jody’s, that she was quite fond of Vanilla Sonic Milkshakes. On my way to her home, I stopped by Sonic and purchased her a milkshake and myself a Vanilla Dr. Pepper.

As I walked to the front door, I had my hands full of records, my notebook, and these two drinks. Jody’s dog greeted me with nothing but charm. I later learned he was nearly 14! I then knocked on the door and was greeted with one of the friendliest smiles I had ever seen.

“How did you know I liked those shakes?” said Jody.

It’s easy to say it was love at first sight.

She ushered me in and as she went to the kitchen to grab a spoon, she told me to go look at her records and memorabilia. On the wall hung every album she had made under the Capitol and Epic labels. Then as my eyes slowly looked down, I saw one of the most coveted awards every singer longs for.

After I was finished gawking at her albums and her Grammy, we went and sat down at her dining room table. That’s where our conversation began. I started out with a question I wonder about every singer.

As a singer myself, I know what makes me tick. So I wanted to ask, why singing?JodyMiller-1 When you were little, what possessed you to start singing?

“Well I came from a family of music people. My dad played the fiddle and my mother sang real good. I had four sisters. We would get together and harmonize and dad would play the fiddle. We would dance and sing every Saturday night. It was a lot of fun, but I knew the rest of them couldn’t sing the way I could [she said this through laughter]. So I had that feeling that I was really good. 

As we cracked a few more jokes, I had to learn about her other musical talents and what instruments she played. The answer surprised me.

Now you play the fiddle, correct?

“No, I make it look good for two songs. If you notice [in a “Thank God I’m a Country Girl” Youtube video] I don’t crack a smile. I was so serious, thinking I was going to mess this up. I do play guitar. I have a four string tenor that I bought back in 1962. It was 8 years old when I bought it!” 

We then jumped into the beginning of her music career. We briefly discussed her time with singing in a local folk act, until she and her husband started making their way to LA to begin her singing career. Along this path is where she met up with fellow Okie, Dale Robertson in 1963.

“He is really a brilliant artiste. He has a lot of taste in the music world, acting, and everything else. He’s gone now, but boy he was smart. I went to visit him unannounced. I had no invitation, but he heard me. When he heard me, he contacted Capital Records. He was doing an animated feature at the time. He was using all of Walt Disney’s artists and then he contacted the people at Capital for some one to do the music.” 

From there, she went on to try out for the Capital records. They were immediately smitten with her as a folk singer.

As Jody admits humbly, “At least I could carry a tune, they thought.” 

11881409_10200899605530180_404911533_oCapital was attempting to jump on the successful folk band wagon of the early and mid 1960’s with the likes of Joan Baez and The Kingston Trio. She said that they wanted somebody who presented themselves like the former, but that didn’t bother her at all. At the time, she had no direction in where she wanted to go with her music.

Jody also really enjoyed the men who backed her during her audition, Glen Campbell and Billy Strange.

“I got my foot in the door and they weren’t going to get it out,” Jody quipped.

What was it like being a Oklahoma girl and walking into a Capital recording studio?

“I was overwhelmed really. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn’t believe it.”

I then pulled out her first album, Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe. This album is beautifully arranged and folk to its core. Yet, as Miller pointed out, it wasn’t a hit. The majority of the songs on this album were story songs and she explained how at the time she knew 200 folk songs and the stories that went behind them. That’s where she found her conviction, which is one of her ultimate strengths to this day.

Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe did not garner any hits and didn’t make it on to the
charts, but that did not detour Miller’s dream and determination to cut a hit record.

Jody“I have always believed in my talent and knew that I could sing better than anybody else. I hate to say that, but I really felt that and I believe we have to feel that way or we can’t push ourselves into doing the job. If you keep on going with what you have, you’re going to make it. I don’t care what anybody says.”

After her first album, Miller was then teamed up with a young Joe Allison. He placed her with 42 musicians, which quite intimated Miller, and they cut her first hit single “He Walks Like A Man.” She then had a brief stint in the Italian music world, where she debuted “Io Che Non Vivo,” which later became “You Don’t Have to Say you Love Me” in English. The Italian version was written especially for Miller.

She then began work on her next recordings in 1966. It just so happened that Mary Taylor had written a song, which she wanted to record, but she already had a hit song on the charts. In those days an artist did not have multiple songs on the chart at a single time.That song was “Queen of The House.”

Miller recorded this song in just one day. This was another one of her strong suites as an artist.

How long did it take you to record an album?

“Well not too long. I was a one take wonder. I could go in and learn a song just like that and go into the studio and cut it. It was one of the things that made me good.” 

DSC00235Once the single “Queen of The House” was released, the pressing plant for Capital could not press the single fast enough for it’s demand was so high. This all happened right before she was to deliver her daughter.

We then went on to discuss whether it was an answer record to “King of The Road” by Roger Miller. Jody then stated that this wasn’t an answer record, but it was a stand alone tune that used the same melody.

There was a Scopitone “music video” made to “Queen of The House.” Scopitones were jukeboxes that featured a screen which projected three-minutes of what we would now call music videos. Although the Scopitone quickly faded, many of its originally videos have been recovered, which include 3 starring Miller.

These videos were often thought to be risqué which took Miller by surprise.

When I was watching the “Queen of The House” video I found that it was pretty risqué for the time period?

“I didn’t know they were going to do all that. People don’t believe me, but I didn’t know.”

Now you weren’t risqué though. You were classy. 

“Yeah, I was dressed.”

In 1967, is when Miller won the Grammy for best female country vocal performance at the 8th annual Grammy awards. She was up against some of the most iconic country singers including Skeeter Davis and Dottie West.

Who did you thank?11120051_10200917721703073_1782923907_n

I didn’t have a speech prepared. I said ‘I’d like to thank everybody that knows who they are.’ [laughs] Jerry Lewis cracked up and said can I use that? I meant those people who helped me, but it came out like there was a psychological thing people were going through [thanking those who KNEW who they were]. 

After the overwhelming success of “Queen of The House,” Miller’s next hit came in the shroud of the Vietnam war. She sang a song entitled “Home of the Brave,” that many country music disc jockeys were weary to play due to its content. Her producer, Joe Allison, grabbed this song from his friend Ronnie Spector, because he knew it was a hit.

She then recorded The Nashville Sound. This album contains her hit “Long Black Limousine.” Miller was again teamed up with Joe Allison. She stated that this was her favorite album and that she loved how glamorous the cover was. She fondly took my album and looked over the songs and cover in admiration, silently reminiscing over her work.

At the beginning of the 1970’s, Miller slightly fell off the radar. She said it was due to a change in record labels and a fuss between her and legendary producer Billy Sherrill, who passed away on August 4th. She thought he was supposed to bring songs and he expected her to bring songs. After the confusion came the “Look at Mine” album. The title track proved to be a smash on the charts along with “If You Think I Love You.”
Jody_Miller_-_He's_So_FineMiller then said how her and Sherrill became wonderful friends. They cut many songs knowing they could find a hit. He went on to produce her album, He’s So Fine and There’s A Party Goin’ On. Both title songs were hits. These albums also contained her well-known version of “Baby I’m Yours” and “Darling You Can Always Come Back Home.” By the end of the 1970’s, Sherrill and Miller had worked on 8 studio albums.

“He was such a wonderful musician to work with. I just had a ball working with him.” 

Although Miller was achieving success any singer would die for, she stated that the 1970’s were not a very good time for her.

“I was working a lot. The 70’s was not a very happy decade. I didn’t get any joy out of them and what I was doing. I had a family back here [Oklahoma], my daughter and my husband, and I missed them so much. I was on the road all the time. So I said ‘Hey, life is too short for this, I’m going home.'”

You’d rather have your family then your music career?

“Yes.”

Then Miller returned home to Oklahoma to continue raising her daughter and spend time with her husband, Monty. She had achieved musical success, but she was ready to head back down the red dirt road. Her and her husband went into the horse business, raising more than 90 head of horses at one point. They reared many championship horses and her house is adorned with these trophies.

At this point, Miller became the most proud during the interview. She loved talking about her husband’s love of horses and how he raised and trained them.  I told her about how I had read she was a family woman. I loved her response.

“Well why not? They are just gorgeous kids and my husband was one in a million.”

jody2Yet Miller’s carreer still was not over. She went on to record a patriotic album in the 1980’s. She was always told that wouldn’t sell, but she really wanted to make one and it did catch the attention of then presidential hopeful, George H.W. Bush. She went on to sing at many of his campaign stops and at one of his inaugural balls. She then had huge success in the gospel world, being inducted into various gospel hall of fames and working with Dove award-winning producers.

To this day, Jody still performs with the act she is most proud of. It’s called Three Generations and it consists of herself, her grandson Montana, and daughter Robin. They play all the instruments, including piano, bass, drums, and guitar. You could tell by the smile that shinned across Jody’s face, that this was her pride and joy. Those hit records and million sellers are a by-product of what she is doing with her family today.

We haven’t missed a standing ovation yet,” stated Miller with pride.

After around nearly two hours, Jody and I concluded our interview. She ended our time together by taking a genuine interest in what I wanted to do with my life. I told her about my dreams to be a performer myself and start my own record label here in Oklahoma. She was ecstatic to hear of my dreams, and provided encouragement. She even showed me a book to read to learn more about the industry and how to start my label.

This further set in cement what I thought of Jody after our time spent together. Yes she is an extremely succesful performer, having numerous million sellers and winning numerous awards, but she is still that girl from the plains of Oklahoma. She is a family lady who places God first in her life and is genuinely concerned about others above herself. She is a superstar, but by more than musical means.

I can honestly say, that I will never forget that gracious afternoon that Jody granted me a seat at her dinning room table to just chat. I had asked for an interview, but it became so much more about life, her interest in myself, and just down home country chatter.

Although Jody should be exclaiming “Look At Mine!” with all her accolades, she is doing “just fine” down the country roads of Blanchard. She doesn’t look at her music as her ultimate success, but yet a by-product of her family and faith. Being a musician is a way of life, and she is a true musician who doesn’t strive for money or fame, but to make a difference.

Humility and love were the undertones of this conversation. She taught me confidence is
key, but humility is golden.
I told Jody during our interview that she is a true artist who sings with so much conviction, that she literally paints a picture with her voice.

Jody felt like she didn’t deserve this compliment. In a humble laugh she answered, “I think I’m going to have to use that one.”

She is the true essence of a daughter of the red dirt

Thank God she’s a country girl.

ALBUM REVIEW: Beck, Morning Phase – Album of The Year

The Grammys are always exciting for me. I have not always watched the shows in full, but this year I had planned to camp out in front of the TV for its 3+ hour run. I always find it interesting to see if I can pick the winners based off of my knowledge and 80% of the time I am pretty accurate (not to toot my own horn…..).

Although, this year I completely missed Album of The Year. I didn’t find there to be any strong contenders, but I was leaning towards Sam Smith to take the honor. Ed Sheeran always seems to almost make it but will come up short in the end. Beyonce’s record was overproduced and overhyped. I didn’t think lyrically Pharrell would be a strong argument. Don’t get me wrong, I am actually a fan of each nominee, but this is how I see them against each other.

I didn’t even see Beck being a dot on the radar. I will preface this in saying that I had never listened to a Beck album fully and couldn’t name a single tune he sang. I did know he was a very talented musician and writer, but that is where my knowledge ended.

So after work on Tuesday, I had to make a stop at the record store and buy Beck’s Morning Phase.  The album had thrown me into a conundrum and I had to find my way out.

After the first listen I found nothing special about it. During the second listen it was just background noise. It wasn’t until the third listen that it turned to genius.

Beck, as a musician, almost solely won this award. He wrote every song on the album, produced it, and played the majority of instruments. This wasn’t about singing through lyrics, it was about the whole structure of the songs that turned into an album. And like Prince said, albums do matter. They were rewarding a full-fledged, multi-instrumental artist.

This album listens lyrically in a way I can’t exactly explain. I would be curious if Beck himself could. Every song makes since yet every song throws you for a loop. These songs are universal touching topics such as relationship breakup, rebellion to societal norms, and even suicide.

The album is about all those things that aren’t necessarily depressing, but what have adverse effects on us as a growing person. It’s a coming of age album no matter what age you are. After really digging into the lyrics I took away that I needed to focus more on being who I am and forget what others think or say. I need to embrace my individuality. I found this message in songs such as “Heart is a Drum,” “Unforgiven,” “Wave,” “Turn Away,” and “Waking Light.”

I also discovered how love can be like a little trinket that means the world to you, but you don’t know why or even where it came from (“Blackbird Chain”). I discovered that home is where the heart is, but once you leave and declare your independence it’s never the same (“Country Down”). Lastly, I saw where I can wake up in the morning and decide my fate, but it may take a few do-overs (“Morning”).

Beck proved with this album you don’t need fancy production or a god-like image to create a masterpiece in today’s musical realm. It is a breath of fresh air. I applaud the Grammys on this choice. They got it right.

And he didn’t even need a surfboard to get there.

 

 

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Art Garfunkel, Watermark

Grover GI’ve had this album stored away in my record shelves for at least a year or more now. I remember I found it in the dollar bin at one of the local record shops here in OKC. This means that our alphabet series will now be brought further along with the help from the letter “G.”

Now I am a big Simon and Garfunkel fan, so this was an interesting venture into the wide array of music Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have made both together and apart.

Musically, the album Watermark is very inconstant, but this is not a negative. GarfunkelWatermark_(Art_Garfunkel_album) just seems to jump around with varying arrangements with drastically different instrumental styles. This album is also richly pop compared to his Simon and Garfunkel days. Lyrically, this album has some of Jimmy Webb’s best lyrical compositions.

The album opens up with the “Crying in My Sleep.” This song was released as the first single from the album, but failed to chart, thus the record company pulled the album and added another song they thought would be a hit. I actually quite like this song. It’s a mellow tune, kind of an adult contemporary power ballad. It even has a live operator.

The third track on side A is entitled “Shine it On Me.” It really shows Garfunkel’s vocal ability by demonstrating his rich highs in his vocal register. He then goes into “Watermark,” a haunting tune of losing a lover, but wondering what was ever there.

Flip to Side B. It begins with a cover of Sam Cocke’s “(What A) Wonderful World.” This was the replacement song and it did score Garfunkel some chart success. Paul Simon and James Taylor add backing vocals to this track giving it a reminiscent feeling of Simon and Garfunkel Days.

art-garfunkelGarfunkel then goes into a jazzy song entitled “Mr. Shuck’n’Jive.” This song is topped off with a sax solo. This is a 380 of how you have heard Garfunkel before. I just picture this song being done in a cabaret in front of red curtains and complete with suspenders and a 5 piece band.

Lastly, Garfunkel gives a striking performance of the ballad “Someone Else (1958).” I love this song for it’s stripped down feel and how the lyrics switch the tables to a rare viewpoint. He knows that she is with someone else, but he also knows she will do the same thing to that “someone else.” It’s a song of sympathy for the next man.

What I find fascinating about this album was the fact that all but one song was written by Jimmy Webb. Webb is a native Oklahoman hailing from Elk City. jimmywebb_WHe is known for writing such hits as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston,” and “MacArthur Park.” Also, The Oklahoma Baptist University Chorale from Shawnee sang many of the backing vocals. That’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I sit now.

Although this album was not Garfunkel’s most successful solo adventure, for me it solidified that when he is partnered with the right people, like Jimmy Webb, his voice will flourish to drastically different levels showing various facades that we could not see in his folk driven past.  This album is that subtle piece of art on your wall. You may not notice it all the time, but you sure love it when you give it a spin.

ALBUM REVIEW: Cass Elliot, Self-Titled

We all flee from the nest and create our own lives. Many people strive to find new identities outside of “son” or “daughter,” “cousin” or “niece,” and sometimes even parents have to find themselves outside of “mama” or “dad.”

The difference between all those and “mama” and “dad” is that you choose those titles.

As I was researching Ms. Cass Elliot I found where she was the one who brought upcass-elliot the name of being called a “mama,” which resulted in the 60’s rock folk group, The Mamas and The Papas. Mama Cass, as Elliot is often known as, was a persona she created on stage and in the studio. She was always known as the positive one and was known for her wise cracks.

Once The Mamas and The Papas were over, her recording career had empty nest syndrome. She was no longer part of the group, but the public still knew her as good ol’ Mama Cass. So she stayed in that rhythm. I’m sure she felt her career would decline without this character, even though she wasn’t fond of always being known as Mama Cass.

She wanted to be Cass Elliot.

Cass_Elliot_(album)This happened in 1972 when she released her album Cass Elliot. This was her fourth solo album and her first to not include “mama” in her name. This album shows her departure from what she was known for and what what she wanted to become.

The album opens with the slow tempo “I’ll Be Home.” A ballad that sets a precedent for the rest of the album. It is then followed by Elliot’s  vulnerable rendition of “Baby I’m Yours” and the upbeat “Jesus Was a Cross Maker.” These songs showed a deep departure from the style she rode to fame.

Elliott’s voice especially soared on “When Love Doesn’t Work Out.” This song was written by her sister, Leah Kunkel and was one of Elliot’s favorites. Her vocals sore on this ballad. It was as if the lid was finally off the jar and it was time that people heard her vocal chops. Sadly, I think she had also lived this antidote as well. This song is superb.

On side b Elliot covered The Beach Boys “Disney Girls” with Bruce Johnston and Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys backing her. This song can be interpreted in many ways, but I just found myself wanting to be the man that Elliot was channeling. But to be honest I don’t know what qualities he was to possess. Maybe it’s cause I’m a big bingo fan….

It saddens me that Elliot was not able to fully embark on this new musical endeavor. Cass_ElliotThis album was not a hit in its day, but it was the beginning of Cass Elliot, the renowned singer and performer. She later teamed up with a new manager and created a cabaret style act that was highly favored by the critics. When she passed she had just achieved standing ovations for two weeks straight at the London Palladium. Her solo career was about to go places.

In the end, I have to say that I like Cass Elliot, but I don’t think she could ever rid herself of Mama Cass. Mother’s often have a niche for being warm and comforting. That’s what Elliot’s voice dictates. Her voice is encompassing in that respect. It’s that warm blanket or fire on a cold winter night. She was a vocal “mama”

So really Elliot was doing it all backwards. Usually the child is the one that grows up, but in this case mama was coming of age and that was tragically cut short.

ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues

Google defines country music as a form of popular music originating in the rural southern US. It is traditionally a mixture of ballads and dance tunes played characteristically on fiddle, guitar, steel guitar, drums, and keyboard.

May I also add its contents include whiskey, women, cheating, drinking, and the occasional loss of a dog.

Google defines soul music as a kind of music incorporating elements of rhythm and blues and gospel music, popularized by African-Americans. Characterized by an emphasis on vocals and an impassioned improvisatory delivery.

May I also add that it often gives you those dancing feet and you may occasionally utter a positive “mmm” or “come on.”

Lastly, since this is not a test study sheet, Google defines folk music as music that originates in traditional popular culture or that is written in such a style.

May I also add it usually has a heavy guitar influence and imagery.

Now add them all together.

Country+Soul+Folk= Justin Townes Earle

My first encounter with Earle was through Wanda Jackson. He produced her latest studio album, Unfinished Business. He duets with Jackson on “Am I Even a Memory.” That became my favorite song off the album, and it spurred my interest in Earle. This album was produced to pristine detail.

Justin Townes Earle is the son of famed country musician Steve Earle. He has released 1 etownEP and 5 albums. I recently found his fourth album Harlem City Blues at Guestroom Records in OKC. I wasn’t exactly expecting what I heard. The album touches a wide array of subjects including suicide, breakups, loneliness, the need to leave, and coming back.

The album opens with its title’s namesake, “Harlem City Blues.” This song envokes every genre I discussed previously. The music is distinctly country, the tempo is folksy, and Earle’s voice contains the soul. This song makes me think it is touching suicide, for he states “dirty water is going to cover me over and I’m not gonna make a sound.” Although dark in content, this song possesses a positive sense of spirituality.

The album then goes into “One More Night in Brooklyn.” He talks about leaving town with his woman. I love the beat to this one. It’s almost “island-like.” This is an addictive tune. You then have a hoe down with “Move Over Mama.” Next is the song “Workin for the MTA.” This song especially evokes the essence of folk music, it’s about hard work in what I believe would either be mines or the building of train tracks. It has a purpose and mission. I see a man walking lonely through a desolate area dragging a sledgehammer when I listen to this song. It’s a great slow down moment for the album.

The last song on Side A is “Wanderin.” This is one of my top two favorites off the album. For this song’s face value, it talks about wandering over areas and personal situations, but deeper than that, it’s about reflecting on life and spirituality. It is a modern day “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” You have to wonder to find home.

My second favorite on this album is “Christchurch Woman.” The song talks about waiting for a woman. He talks of how he is waiting for a “Christchurch woman in the rain, and the rain keeps comin, but it ain’t enough to cover the pain.” You can feel pain in Earle’s voice as he is wanting that certain someone, yet even he admits he’ll probably get tired of her later in the song. This song could be comforting to those who are waiting. Waiting gets easier with each passing day, and you might even realize it’s not the right thing after all.

The closing song, besides a choir reprise of “Harlem City Blues,” is “Rogers Park.” The songs opens up with a beautiful piano arrangement and it carries throughout. It is like Earle is walking through a small town park, reminiscing on his life and what could and can be. This shows the genius of Earle’s songwriting. My favorite lyric: “There ain’t no hope in leaving them. There ain’t no prayer for the poor and all that’s lost in stealing. She can’t hold me anymore.” and a choral line of “Punching holes in the dark.” Let the interpretations begin…

In the end, this record is not of any genre. The country musical influence is dominant, thebloodshot records storytelling of folk is there, and Earle’s voice is extremely soulful. I find this album to be remarkable. Earle is multitalented, being able to produce, perform, and write: a musical triple threat.

Although I’m not ready to let that ol’ dirty water run over me, I am ready for my Christchurch woman in the rain, and more importantly, I can’t wait to purchase another Justin Townes Earle album.