Many friends after reading my reviews in recent months, have often asked me about the genres that I mentioned often. Those we ignore here, perhaps because they are so much tied to the territory. Here is one of these genres, red dirt, is perhaps among the branches of the country what in Italy (and generally in Europe) is less known. Even in the United States it is a genre that at the beginning was played and loved madly only in Oklahoma and Texas, in practice in the two states where he was born and made a grip on people. It’s a genre that has created legends, real cults, artists who have shaken the foundations with their country, between classic country and rock, between melancholy and rebellion. Here at the end of 2021 we saw two events that brought the spotlight of American music on this genre and its heroes, and shook the minds of fans : first the announcement of the reunion of Turnpike Troubadours, one of the most important bands of the genre and I would say also of all contemporary American music and then the return with a brand new album by Jason Boland & The Stragglers, this The Light Saw Me. This independent band has achieved a truly remarkable success, a success that has also crossed the ocean, 9 records (10 with this) and two live albums that have left an indelible mark in the American country and have created a real cult for this band born in Oklahoma but with well-established roots in Texas. Since the debut with Pearl Snaps in 1999, water has passed under the bridge, there have been masterpieces, records that have broken the charts of genre, many live that have put to fire the locals and live clubs. There have never been fashion albums, recorded albums so much to exploit fame and continue to live on income. All records must be discovered from the first to the last, Jason Boland is a great author and his a great band. The Light Saw Me is an album that in the hands of an artist not above average talent, would risk crashing even before taking off. It seems a crazy idea for a red dirt record to imagine the story of a Texan cowboy of 1890 who kidnapped by aliens finds himself in Texas of the 90s, but Boland not only gives us an original record but also one of the most beautiful records of recent years. Brave, original and played great. Mention also for the fantastic production of Waylon’s son, Shooter Jennings who is now a champion of the production console (he had already co-produced Jason Boland in his Dark & Dirty Mile of 2013 and right from that record had started his parallel career.) The album rockets with Terrifying Nature, a piece that looks almost progressive rock in his intro, a piece that makes us enter in an unthinkable way in this crazy story imagined by Boland but then it turns towards a country with irresistible groove and we feel immediately to welcome back to this band with boundless talent. The title-track has an engaging rhythm, like the anthems of the Stragglers of the past and the story of this kidnapped cowboy begins to take shape, is a rock with an almost electronic flavor but with a very red dirt soul. Tornado & The Fool is a beautiful country with a Texan flavor, a nice ride with the violin on the shields and Here For You instead is an intense and exciting ballad, but it is with the subsequent Transmission Out and Transition In that the story of this kidnapped cowboy takes shape. And since 1890 he finds himself catapulted into this future ’90s that he doesn’t understand. The sound becomes almost a country of those years, Future introduces us to this world so crazy for a man of 1800, a concept that can also be a kind of excuse to talk about lost loves, travels of life and especially loneliness. Straight Home is a piece with a western flavour, with a melancholy soul, a piece to which the pedal-steel in the background gives even more emphasis, almost cinematic. The voice of Boland always likes it, intense and evocative and in this record proves great. The album towards the end gives us a real treat, a cover of Restless Spirit by Bob Childers, a true folk music legend in Oklahoma, one of the putative fathers of red dirt. In addition to being a wonderful piece, it is also remarkable to see how a piece written by someone else, with no reference or connection to this concept, fits perfectly into this puzzle and with its text on lost love it is perfect for the story of this journey in time. A record that flows away and never gets bored, an intense, crazy and so deep story that must be savoured. Not only beautiful songs but a story that fascinates and kidnaps the listener, a skill as a narrator not only great songwriter. A work that could have been wrecked not only for the particularity of its history but also for its genesis strongly influenced by the problems of these two years. Luckily everything went well and we feel like welcoming back to a great artist and his wonderful band. The red dirt and all the American music needed them too and now the lucky fans who can see them live, are waiting for them in the new tour that will start obviously from where it all began in Oklahoma, the Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. Listen carefully, they deserve it and if you do not know them, surely after this record you will want to find out. If you love country and American music can not miss in your playlist, as well as this disc can not miss in the playlist of the best releases of this 2021.
Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it
(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/jason-boland-the-stragglers-the-light-saw-me-2021-by-trex-roads/ )