When I was growing up I spent my summers on my grandparent’s land in Arkansas. To this day it’s the only set of directions I know how to give that includes “…after the paved road ends keep going 5 miles…”. I have mixed memories of my time there to be honest. I guess it’s one part of my childhood that refused to be romanticized. Some of the memories are amazing: pig roasts, ice cream socials, hanging out on the Tinsley’s farm down the road, hiding cigarettes in the chapel at the cemetery, drinking from a spring coming straight out the hillside, and much more. But there’s an underlying set of memories that I won’t go into here that make thinking back on those formidable years less than pleasant when you add the right amount of whiskey and being alone.
Somewhere in the back of my mind there has always been a sort of soundtrack to these summers. Some of it heavy metal because that’s what we listened to back then but some it is a wafting, soulful, folky sort of mountain music. I have never been able to put my finger on exactly what it sounds like until I played this album. Austin Lucas’s voice, rising and falling, along with the fiddles has, after all these years, given the soundtrack of part of formidable years a voice it has never had.
To look at Austin, especially his MySpace pics, you would expect to be able to use the words “dulcet tones” to describe anything he would sing. But judging this book by it’s cover would be a huge mistake. His vocals are amazing and easily transport the listener to a different time and place. It’s easy to hearken back to my summers in the hills of Arkansas and almost feel the evening begin to cool, sitting on the dock with a fishing pole in the water not caring whether the perch bite or not.
Look at that I’ve done gone all sentimental. Don’t get me wrong this album isn’t only for boys who spent their summers in the hills. With lyrics like “I shall lay my head on the shoulders of great men and live my life ’til honest end” there is something here for everyone. Between Austin’s voice, his songwriting, and his picking there is nothing lacking on this album. His sister, Chloe Manor, dropping in to harmonize takes some of the songs to a place one shouldn’t go with too much whiskey in their system. Any single one of these aspects would have made this a decent album but with them all combined the album is an outpouring of soulful melodies that touch on many themes and dive into depths most albums don’t reach. I could go on for a couple more paragraphs but I think it’s time to let the music speak for itself..
Suburban Home Records Artist Page for Austin Lucas – This is where you go buy his music
Austin Lucas’s Official Site