Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Austin Lucas Review...

Wow, it’s been a long time since an album grew on my like Austin Lucas’ Somebody Loves You…and I think I know why. See, I’m usually a southern drawl/scruffy voice folk guy; I like Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, Sundowner, etc. Lucas’ approach is so traditional that it’s off-putting at first. But then something struck me as I made my way through the record for the third or fourth time; Lucas represents the first artist that I would have loved to let my Grandfather hear. It was a bit of a downer to realize this because he passed away this past autumn, but I am certain that he would have loved this record. He liked old country music, but he also loved Appalachian style folk music with clear, powerful vocals and minimal accompaniment beyond an acoustic guitar. Lucas fits this description perfectly.

The talent that Lucas displays here is electric. While the songwriting and arrangements are dead on, the vocals and lyrics are what seal the deal for me. Lucas’ voice is so delicate and powerful at the same time; I just don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it. His storytelling skills are employed perfectly on the track “Singing Man,” which tells of a lowly musician attempting to court someone much higher up on the social ladder. And then there are all the sings about heartbreak, but with an ear towards moving forward, not wallowing. “Go West” puts the idea of parting ways with someone in such an understanding and romantic light while still portraying the pain that accompanies any type of meaningful goodbye.

This record, which was recorded by Lucas’ father at the family home in Indiana, rings of truth and a personal touch that works its way right into the center of your heart. Whether he’s pickin’ and yelpin’ through the hurried pace of album closer “Farewell,” or crafting a beautiful atmosphere like the one found in “She Said,” Lucas seems to be able to do no wrong. I don’t give out a five star rating without some serious consideration, but this record has shaken me. I didn’t react to it immediately; it took time and some of my own personal feelings for my true impression to surface. The only thing I wish is that I could have put this on while Gramp and I cracked a few beers.


the Chicago trip was pretty great. a lot of time to just unwind, visit friends, drink and introduce everyone to heather. i'll post some pictures we took when i have the time. being back, on the other hand, sucks. grad school started last week and it's insane. so much reading and then little projects that remind me of the busy work your teaching aides would give you in undergrad when they were hungover...ugh. ohh! and i got my mac, who has affectionately been dubbed "macattack" by someone with much more creativity then myself. so far, it's friggin' crazy cool, but i gotta get used to it.

i'm applying for a few library positions in Chicago that an old friend pointed out and one of them is at the DePaul University Rinn Law Library, where i used to work! seriously thinking about moving back there now that school has started and it's a distance learning thing that i don't need to be at campus for. if i could get a job out there in my field (like i have here) and go to school and work on the website...i think that would be awesome. and heather's gonna come...friggin' sweet!

alright, back to work...in every sense of the word.