We are getting more and more music sent to us for review – which we are thrilled about! Some is pure Country, some….not so much! The newest album from Jeb Loy Nichols - June is Short, July is Long - would be hard to pigeonhole – which is exactly how he wants it.
With a first name of “Jeb” and three airstreams/trailers on the cover, I’m already hooked. Intro… the first track on the album is only 22 seconds long, not much time to hook me in more – snare drum, harmonica and a smoky blues voice….its working…
The album starts properly with You got it wrong – with more of a jazz tempo and that brushed snare drum again. Jeb’s voice is speaking straight to you. He’s explaining why the relationship won’t work, taking the blame but you are wrong…and on that he’s certainly right….. Kind of calmer, more grown up attitude than most country songs! Think I’m Going to Fall in Love Today is a bit more country, but with quite staccato horns helping the guitar long. Once again it’s a different take on traditional love themes, he’s out to fall in love with whoever he finds…at least he’s honest about it! Lovely little surprise ending too! The “different take” seems t be the theme for the style of the album as well as the songs themselves, with influences from Country, from Bluegrass and from Soul all combining to give a genre crossing sound. The next track Matter Of Fact is more bluesy, Nothing You Can Do About It brings back the Harmonica, drum and guitar all gently underscoring Jeb’s voice. He suddenly sounds like a worldly-wise old man dispensing sage advice from his regular seat in the bar….
Last Train Home is uptempo but not upbeat! As with much of the album, Jeb is taking themes that are quite down, but addresses them without feeling sorry for himself or expecting anyone else to do so. It is what it is… Life can be a bit easier to bear if you can accept the truths… As the album progresses you can just lose yourself in Jeb’s voice, the combination of instruments from his band The Westwood All Stars and those melancholy, wise vibes…
It is certainly a different album, but really enjoyable to listen to and to immerse yourself in.
“I wanted to make the kind of record I grew up with,”
“That meeting place of folk, soul and country.”
They meet, they chat, they produce a great sound.