FAVORITE TRACK: Last Words
LEAST FAVORITE TRACK: They Killed John Henry
Knowing the context of this album is the most important thing. First listen, this might just sound like another Americana/folk country record but knowing that this record is a tribute to Earle's son, fellow country singer Justin Townes Earle, it makes this whole project a lot more somber even though it is an upbeat album for the most part. The only song directly about Earle's son is "Last Words" which is a heartbreaking and well-performed song about Earle wishing he could've been there when his son passed. Last Words is a wonderful song and if you can only listen to one song on this- make it that one.
The rest of this album, though, is a pretty standard Americana album. I'm not much of a country listener but this album is enjoyable with the use of more folky instrumentals and Earle's soulful country voice. Maria is a lovely and lively song and Champagne Corolla has a 50s blues touch to it that's done well. Other tracks focus more on the lyrics, like on tracks like The Saint of Lost Causes or Harlem River Blues. The use of violin and strings in general on this is really well-done on every track. However, there's not a lot of replay value in this and it is pretty standard for a grass-roots Americana album.