Jun 8, 2012 Album Reviews
Posted by Adam
I was late on the Jason Eady train, only getting on with the release of his last record, Till the Money’s All Gone, but man am I glad that I jumped on board. I fell in love with that record immediately and was drawn to the more country sounding tunes on it. Much to my joy, Eady decided to record an album of just that, real country songs !
I know that in this day and age, country music means something way different than it did 30 years ago, but Eady seems to have purposely tossed that memo into a garbage can. AM Country Heaven is a throwback to the heyday of Merle, Waylon, Willie and all the other greats. I have to say it so damn refreshing to listen to this record, as Eady has perfectly married his superb songwriting and that classic country sound.
This album has a barroom vibe right from the start. Eady’s vocals are crystal clear and the band is straight out of the greatest honky tonk you could ever imagine. Lloyd Maines’ steel guitar is all over the place giving the songs the appropriate bag of emotions that litter every great country tune. There’s lots of drinking and lost love populating the songs, and there is even a duet with Patty Loveless. Eady has completely avoided the pitfalls that could come with making an album like this and delivered a perfect, legitimate, honest country masterpiece.
The title track kicks of the record, and is a lament of the current state of country music. Many artists have written similar songs (Todd Snider’s “Country When it Rocks” and Brock Zeman’s “Nothin’ on the Radio” come to mind) but I’m not sure that they have done so as well as Eady does here. He sings “I miss the days when the women were ugly and the men were all forty years old, Because you had to say something for the people to listen, Now they just do what they’re told”. I could not agree more.
The second track on the album is another favorite of mine. “Old Guitar and Me” tells the story of a man who is destined to shuck the 9-5 for life on the road singing busted down songs and drinking the nights away.
My personal favorite track on the record is “Paid My Dues”. Cary Ann Hearst provides some tasty harmony vocals on this tale of a broken down man wondering “How much will it take, cuz Lord, I think I’ve paid my dues”.
Closing the record is a prayer from a drunkard wanting Jesus to brighten his day by turning this “Water into Wine”. This slow number is a perfect end to a perfect album.
Everyone should already own this record as it was released a couple months ago but, if for some reason you don’t jump over to Jason Eady’s website and order you up an album full of country bliss.
Here’s a video of him doing “Old Guitar and Me” on Music Fog.