If someone asked me what Americana sounded like I could simply hand them a copy of Stay Reckless. It has all the elements that make up the genre that encompasses most of the music we write about ’round these parts. It opens with a great rock `n’ roll riff and takes us on a journey through country, folk, bluegrass, and even punk influences while Austin shares his life with us. With 9B favorites Glossary as his band on this one, the music couldn’t be any tighter and I can’t think of a way that this record could sound any better. As far as I’m concerned it defines Americana better than any other single album in the past decade. In short this is one damn near perfect record from start to finish.
At its heart this is a break up album. Penned mostly during his marriage falling apart and the inevitable aftermath, these songs may be some of the most personal to come from Austin yet and folks that’s saying something. Having been through a divorce myself some of these songs cut deep. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t listen to “Rings” if I’ve had more than two whiskeys, at least not without breaking down and crying. The really scary part is that that’s not even the most intense track on the record. “Splinters” has made me tear up just driving at night and is my favorite track, how could it not be with the Meatloaf references taking me back to the winter of 1989. I love all of Austin’s work but this is by far the album I can relate to the most.
I hope I am not giving the impression that Stay Reckless is all sad bastard songs; it’s most assuredly not! Even with the shitty circumstances that birthed this album Austin manages to thread some hope through the damn thing and not wallow in his misery as some folks are wont to do. Taking something as personal as a divorce, turning it in to lyrics, and then putting out there for the world to experience takes a lot bigger balls than I have. To turn it in to Essential Listening without it being a pity party takes a fucking helluva lot of talent. So thank you Mr. Lucas for sharing yourself with us. We are better for it.
As an aside, if you haven’t seen Austin Lucas and Glossary play together you ain’t been livin’! It’s a seven course meal for the soul.