“Jericho” – Tony Logue (2022) [english]

Exactly a year ago, it was the beginning of 2021, in my sharing experiences and discovering new sounds through my American friendships, I had come across this guy from Kentucky. I was dazzled by his sincere poetics and the folk sound so intense and true and in fact I wrote about it on my blog ( https://trexroads.altervista.org/serpents-and-saviors-tony-logue-2018-2/ ). It was a very remarkable debut, very acoustic and folk, a bit like the beginnings of Tyler Childers, his fellow countryman and now a legend of American country. That was followed by a beautiful live Live on Red Barn Radio (also here another common point with Childers) and I always knew that we would hear about this independent Kentucky artist for a long time to come. I was right but my expectations, even the most optimistic ones, could not have foreseen such an important evolution and a result of such quality and intensity. We are just at the beginning of 2022 and I can certainly tell you that the 12 pieces of this Jericho will make it, without a doubt, one of the best records of this year. Of course Tony had the brilliant idea of relying on a working group that he knows well, his band. It’s an unusual thing for a solo artist. Usually you rely on sessions-players who collaborate with the producer or the studio, but the choice was successful and the harmony is noticeable. The sound was entrusted to Sean Sullivan, who worked with Sturgill Simpson, Childers and Tony’s friend and other artist to keep in mind, namely Cole Chaney. The band consists of Derrick Rucker on guitar, Jason Munday on drums and Kyle Robertson on bass, with the addition of Russ Pahl on steel-guitar, Mike Rojas on keyboards and some mandolin played by Mark Howard (owner of Tractor Shed where the record was recorded), violin by Matt Combs and choirs by Miles Miller (who plays with Sturgill Simpson) and Tammy Rogers-King (Steeldrivers). I mean, a Kentucky country music all star. And you can hear it : the sound is full-bodied, full and has no hesitation, the poetic and incisive writing of Logue has found the perfect marriage with a sound so intense, clean. A team job that has certainly paid. The perfect production has elevated the quality of pieces, already beautiful. The first track is usually there to make the ear of the record fall in love and create interest on the rest of the tracks and Silas manages it great. A piece of country rock ‘n’ roll that demonstrates to the world the influence that the music of another legend of his state of origin had on Tony, namely Chris Knight. One of the most talented and perhaps most underrated artists of American country music. An author who influenced the music and writing of Logue a lot. The voice is really convincing, intense at the right point and the text is pure poetry, a small film and this is the skill of a few songwriters. But the whole band is a monolith, a piece that has its peak in the guitar solo. Beautiful piece, really. The first single, Calloway County, is a wonderful signature country ballad, the mandolin that introduces it but then leaves the stage to the violin that accompanies us in a piece that has an arrangement of the best class. The text is intense and hard, a boy who wants to live a life different from that of his father, of which he gets to want to erase and deny even the inheritance of the name. We don’t know if his lyrics are inspired by true stories, but they seem so, they take the soul and the stomach so much they are real and powerful. Baptized puts more meat on the fire, the intro seems almost blues rock and the slide does nothing but increase this feeling, a heavy gait, the sound is really exceptional, the solo is joy for the ears. The evolution of this guy in just 3 years is really remarkable, or maybe he just needed the right team and the right time. The stories often have a familiar setting such as the Cumberland River. Kentucky country authors often celebrate the pride of being natives of this land so wild, but also so hard. This is perhaps the song that most surprised me in positive, the boy has talent to sell and the mix of styles and musical sensations is not for everyone, especially to do so in such a natural and convincing way. The stories on his land continue in Life’s Blood, where Logue tells the tragic and true story of Kentucky in the 1930s when in the name of progress families were trampled and their lands were deprived of them by unscrupulous businessmen. A powerful and exciting piece, a story told in the manner of the greatest storytellers of music. I had promised not to mention all the songs of this little jewel so as not to be redundant or take away the surprise, but it is hard not to talk about songs like Losin’ Kind, country supported by powerful guitars, with the usual text that is a poem of hard life, of real life that of his land, where the mines had created a false feeling of well-being. Or songs like Road to Richmond, where with a genius (really brilliant) the good Tony gives us a personal tribute to his idol Chris Knight. He takes a piece by the singer-songwriter, Carla Came Home, and thinks a text with a narrator/observer different from the original. Only a first level songwriter could be credible in such an operation, the musical cues are also very inspired by the music of Knight, a country very blues and “heavy”, violins and electric guitar svisate. Another piece that will remain as one of the most beautiful of his discography, just started but already remarkable. There could not be a poignant ballad in a country-inspired album and with Dead Flowers, Logue gives us a painful poem both in music, the violin enters the stomach, that in the really tragic and powerful text about the story of a ruined family after the father was devoured by addictions. Not easy to listen to, but the sweet and intense voice of Tony Logue sweetens it for our ears. Sins of My Father is a piece that is completely different from the previous one, with an almost soul appeal, piano and hammond, between southern rock, country and blues. A piece that, if need be, shows the world what kind of compositional talent this young Kentucky boy has. The never banal text speaks to us of the “sins of a father” that for a son are always difficult not to repeat. I didn’t talk, as I said, about all the tracks, not because of lack of quality or because it wasn’t worth it, but because I didn’t want to talk too much about a record that needs to be listened to. Everything. Don’t leave out any notes, no nuance, let yourself be accompanied in this musical and poetic journey that is Jericho, a journey through the hard life and strong feelings of Kentucky, you will be at the hands of a great artist, a great voice and a talented singer-songwriter and at the end you will want to start again to notice other details, other nuances and you will want to feel again some unforgettable solos and sit next to poignant characters and so real. There is no deception, no desire to please the charts and the awards that do not suit the music of the people, but only a lot, a lot of talent and desire to tell in music the life as they see in his young eyes. If you don’t know Tony Logue, make amends now and put his poems in your coffers, you’ll thank me next time.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/tony-logue-jericho-2021-by-trex-roads/ )