“A Hard Up Life” – Drayton Farley (2021) [english]

When they ask me why I love independent country so much, I always answer because these artists talk to us about real life, about normal people and their difficulties in living. Anyone can empathize, even not living in Woodstock in Alabama, exhausting work shifts, unemployment, despair and hope, love and broken dreams. Here’s the real independent country, what you find in the word of mouth of fans (who thanks to the net now have an international megaphone), is all here in artists like Drayton Farley. Born as I mentioned before in Alabama, Drayton brings into his music all his life, all the stories he has seen or lived, all the life of a small town that has seen poverty arrive like a tornado after the mining industries have gone away. His songs tell us about the struggle of the workers, of those who try hard and in American Dream (Hard Up) hit against a life that is never easy, extraordinary and hard to pay for this damn American dream with an intense voice, It’s a pain that subtly gets inside you, shaking your soul. A direct, dry, simple but damn effective song. The record is composed of 14 songs, long intense and not easy but it is one of those discs that must be assimilated slowly, one of those discs that you would like to listen to under a porch at sunset after a hard day of work. Hearing stories that could be yours or that still allow you to understand that melancholy, that anger that flows into beautiful poems. There is also room for nostalgia for better times, who doesn’t try it? In these difficult times then songs like Take Me Back make you dream of being in a world that had not broken your dreams, when life was simple or at least gave hope for the future. Farley’s storytelling ability is remarkable, There are feelings that can only come out wounded or broken by these difficulties as in Counted Costs a simple ballad that the intense voice of this Alabama boy makes a little jewel that could even bring down some tears so much takes the soul. There’s also room for the sun, optimism and hope that in the end life is all a succession of ups and downs and these others sooner or later come, Atmosphere that the author tells was the last to be composed seems to detach from the feeling of the record and gives us a beautiful sunny country ballad with a look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. This good work, direct and sincere ends with a song dedicated to the daughter of Farley, Dear Haven, a kind of conclusion of a story made of shattered dreams and difficulties that precisely with fatherhood allows a positive look towards a crazy world that sooner or later will be better and the eyes of a child make more and more beautiful. A convincing debut and absolutely to discover, if you love the country of Tyler Childers or Lyman Ellerman, those simple and dry sounds that excite and make you think, here is the record for you. In the meantime, I’m going to listen to it and discover some other nuances.

Good listening,

Trex Willer

(you can find italian version of this article in the blog at this link : https://trexroads.altervista.org/a-hard-up-life-drayton-farley-2021/ )