Poor ol Uncle Fatty – Blood Arkansan – 2015

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Blood Arkansan is the second full length release from Matthew “Fatty” Richards under the moniker Poor ol Uncle Fatty. It’s a little more on the country side than I’ve been writing about, but for me that’s a return to my roots here at 9 Bullets. I’ve had this in my hands since January but for some reason I had put it off and then let it slip through the cracks but I queued it up this morning on a whim. On the first pass I found myself enjoying the twang and rough vocals and as I really started listening the lyrics started taking center stage a little bit more. Being honest, some of the songs are a bit kitschy but I think that adds to the enjoyment here. It’s something we don’t see with a lot of the bands we write about and is a bit refreshing. Every song doesn’t have to be about about spilling your guts but it takes a decent songwriter to pull off a mix of the lighter side and still manage the deeper songs on the same album.

I will admit to having a soft spot in my heart for music from Arkansas and Blood Arkansan really touched on that. The title track speaks of Arkansas history and takes me back to summers spent with my Grandmother visiting historical sites around Fayetteville or visiting nearly forgotten cemeteries with my cousins. It’s a strong opening volley to be sure and one that does set the tone for the rest of the album. (I almost said that this feels more like Red Dirt than classic country but then I realized I don’t what-the-fuck that actually means so I just won’t say it at all.) Overall the country feel of this album is well stated while still being original enough to not sound like cookie cutter crap. If you don’t like twangy music that doesn’t always take itself seriously then this probably isn’t for you but I have a feeling that’s not the case for most folks reading this.

If you have any doubts about Poor ol Uncle Fatty’s credentials then all you have to do is look at who he’s shared the stage with: Lucero, The Turnpike Troubadours, Matt Woods, Adam Lee, and John Moreland. As I’m a relative newcomer to his music I don’t know if he gigs with a full band or solo. The pictures on his website seem to indicate he plays solo quite a bit and that’s something I’m really interested in hearing. I think that a couple of songs on here would be more powerful as acoustic only tunes but that’s really me just showing my bias. This is a fun record and it’s earned a spot in my rotation for the foreseeable future. My only regret is that I let it linger as long as I did before giving it the chance it deserved. You can get your copy on his official website.