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Last of the Country Gentlemen

Josh T. Pearson Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: £9.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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The son of a 'fire and brimstone' style southern preacher, Josh T. Pearson's strict religious upbringing has informed much of his musical output. Pearson was a founder member of the short-lived but critically acclaimed band Lift to Experience, who released only one record, the 2001 concept album 'The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads', before splitting up soon after. So beloved by ... Read more in Amazon's Josh T. Pearson Store

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Last of the Country Gentlemen + The Texas Jerusalem Crossroad
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sep 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B004IJESY8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,216 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Thou Art Loosed
2. Sweetheart I Ain't Your Christ
3. Woman, When I've Raised Hell
4. Honeymoon's Great! Wish You Were Her
5. Sorry With A Song
6. Country Dumb
7. Drive Her Out

Product Description

Product Description

Josh T. Pearson, former frontman of much-lauded band Lift to Experience, finally releases his debut solo album ten years after unexpectedly quitting music. Last of the Country Gentlemen is an epic journey of emotion and heartbreak, spanning just seven songs. Recorded acoustically over two nights, it features several tracks that clock in at over ten minutes, such as the cathartic centrepiece “Honeymoon’s Great! Wish You Were Her”. The result is a sprawling album of intense beauty and intimacy.

BBC Review

Josh T Pearson – wild-eyed, heavy-bearded frontman of the phenomenal-for-an-album (2001’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads) Denton rockers Lift to Experience – was thought adrift in the wilderness during the early 00s. That double-disc, concept-rich long-player, a hugely acclaimed release, is all the trio concocted of note before they were done, Pearson seeking refuge amongst the detritus of a thousand other stalled and collapsed careers.

But he was not lost: soon came faint echoes, whispers, of a resurfacing; later, an article in Stevie Chick and Steve Gullick’s Loose Lips Sink Ships magazine, where the artist was spotted during the annual South By Southwest industry shindig and subsequently followed, the buzz of the Austin hype-fest left in the dust. Live dates followed: damaged, intense, impossibly brilliant. Every word dripped with the weight of a dozen worlds. Every stomp of boot on stage could be heard in the afterlife. His performance at one London show left this writer at the edge of tears.

Last of the Country Gentlemen bears the scars of a life lived, loved ones found and lost, in the fallout of a dawning success never fulfilled. It’s a raw and white-knuckled collection, one which captures the phenomenal emotions of the man’s solo live sets. Recorded in just two nights in Berlin after its maker finally saw fit to commit seven songs to tape in the wake of numerous highly positive write-ups for his gigs, it’s bare of instrumentation, relying largely on just an acoustic guitar; across its strings Pearson’s fingers flick and feel, little precise but everything purposeful. Embellishments come in the form of light string arrangements, but producer Peter Salasa is wise to keep them in the background of the mix. Here, they support Pearson without overpowering him – which, given his near-whisper at the microphone, could have easily happened.

Pearson is not flashy of metaphor. He tells his tales – some striking, some mundane, but everything resonating with experience – like a bar-prop found in a backwater dive, willing to share but often caught in circles, his own rambling ways muddling a simple message. So, the story behind Honeymoon’s Great: Wish You Were Her – he’s married; he loves another – runs for 13 minutes when it could be just as affecting in half the time. It’s a captivating piece for Pearson’s weary, teary tones, but its spare form may test the patience of listeners used to quicker-of-fix catharsis. Three further numbers stretch for over 10 minutes, but once suckered attentions rarely stray. Lyrically, he’s not all doom and gloom without a little dark humour: "I know that Jesus saves / because nothing in this world is free" he sings on Country Dumb. Those who’ve witnessed Pearson live understand that he can share a joke and raise a toast, but these seven tracks are bruised delights, with religion close to the heart but open about God’s unwillingness to unwaveringly cooperate. The conversations Pearson had away from the hubbub of modernity have evidently bled into this solo debut. The first sound he makes, a wail on the wind which opens Thou Art Loosed, is a wordless call from an ethereal plane.

Women come, women go; spirits are lifted and downed; the heavens may smile or pour scorn. At the end of the day, a stool, a stage, and a spotlight comprise the environment that Pearson ultimately found comfort in. And Last of the Country Gentlemen is a brilliant framing of this home, bittersweet home.

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josh T Pearson - On the lost highway 14 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
"The last of the Country Gentlemen" is a damaged and raw record of rare brilliance built up after ten years of self imposed exile, sadness and cocaine wilderness. Josh T Pearson's return is long overdue, particularly for those still smitten by the mighty glory of Lift to Experience's astounding sonic double album of 2001's Texas Jerusalem Crossroads with its central theme of the Lone Star State emerging from the apocalypse as a geographical "Noah's arks" with its epicentre in the town of Denton. It is an album of such intensity that it did suggest a sort of Van Gogh like insanity with the bands heart and soul literally poured into every note. It is hardly surprising therefore that LTE imploded and never been seen since. As Pearson admits with some understatement "We dropped the ball on it. We needed time... I just went out there and prepared for the end of the world. That's just the way it happened."

Seek out pictures today of Pearson and it appears that he could have stepped out of the pages of history. He could stand on the Battlefield at Gettysburg and look like a member of Pickett's Brigade and there is something about "Last of the country gentlemen" which has a timeless and spellbinding quality. It must rank with Neil Young's "Tonight the night" as an epic of desolate bleak beauty. In effect Pearson's album is aural equivalent to the written works of that western genius Cormac McCarthy and the albums weary central tenet is one of failure, burn out and approaching hell in a hand basket. This despair is summarized in the opening line to the glorious ten-minute plus "Country Dumb" that "I come from a long line in history of dreamers/each one more tired than the one before ". (Check out the alternative piano version on the Internet music blogs).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me speechless 12 Jan 2012
By Cuban Heel VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
There's good music, there's great music, and of course there's rubbish music. Every once in a while I come across a record that is something else entirely. And this is one of those records. On the first listen it literally left me speechless. I couldn't explain to my other half what I liked about it, I just knew it was something a bit special. I haven't felt that way since the first time I heard 'Grace' by Jeff Buckley.

This is not an easy listen. It is probably one of the most depressing albums I've ever heard. But there is just something incredibly compelling about it. It's highly original, but that's not what grabs you: it's the honesty, the pain, the sheer intensity of the emotion packed into it.

At times, ironically, there does seem to be the odd musical nod to Jeff Buckley. There are some occasional Nick Cave-esque lyrics about redemption. But apart from that, it's not really quite like anything I've heard before. Looking at the reviews here I'm not overly surprised that it has split opinion somewhat. Because it is a bold and uncompromising album. It won't be to everyone's taste. Bouncy, sing-a-long pop music it certainly isn't. Posturing, riff-laden rock music it certainly isn't. But if, like me, you think there should be music out there that pushes the boundaries a little bit, that delivers something new and worthy of your attention, then this has to be it. I disagree that it's tuneless. The melodies are subtle and are broken up, cleverly in my opinion, by the more wordy sections of the lyrics. At times the melodies do disappear and are replaced by little disembodied guitar phrases, which I think are beautiful. It's a clever and unique way of presenting music. And it fits well with the highly personal, whispering confessional approach of Pearson's singing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking 17 Mar 2011
By Twig
Format:Audio CD
Josh T Pearson seems to be exorcising demons in this outstanding piece of music, laying ghosts to rest. The loss of faith. Broken relationships. The yearning for something that might never even have existed. It is the most emotionally arresting and heartbreaking sequence of songs I think I have ever heard. Every one, sublime.

He picks and strums his guitar, teasing out of it the perfect complement to his worldweary yet ever hopeful voice, and in some tracks the presence of a swooning violin adds to the overall delicacy and beauty. The lyrics are wonderful, a Southern gothic of loss and striving that creates images so stark and visual it is like watching a film. Appearing ten years after the magnificent Lift to Experience cd, the Last of the Country Gentlemen is its flip side musically. And yet, although it is acoustic and gentle rather than electric and brash, it is arguably even more uplifting.

It is never easy sharing in the raw emotion of someone else's life, but I feel honoured to be allowed to share Pearson's heartfelt confessions. I hope he found it cathartic. The music it has given rise to is a wonder.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars track after track of utter splendour 16 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
an album of pure beauty, it's heart wrenching and personal and just tickles your ears like a cotton bud with faeries on the end.
the honesty in josh's voice drops you to your knees.
'thou art loosed' starts the album and draws you in, it's a short track too at 3 mins, the tracks are all 5 or 10mins, but that doesn't seem long enough, they could go on for hours and not get boring.
there is nothing tired about this album, it's the album of the year, make no doubt.
'sorry with a song' says it all for me, i'm buying a bunch and giving them to all my formers partners and with a big ten foot tall note with sorry written on it, josh says it better than i ever could.

and, there is an extra track on the vinyl plus CD release that isn't on the CD only release, not sure why, seems a bit odd, but there is, it's the title track of the album too, 'last of the country gentlemen'

well that's my feelings on the matter anyway.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars So So
Not as good as I was expecting to be honest. It's OK, but I didn't put it on repeat and want to keep hearing it, which is my measure of 'great' when I first buy an album.
Published 18 months ago by Mike Blake
1.0 out of 5 stars No Way Into This Dirge
I wanted to like this. I should have liked it. All the boxes are ticked. Eccentric ,maverick americana. But I am afraid I cant get into this at all. Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2012 by Pj Beirne
2.0 out of 5 stars No excuse... I was warned!
'It is tough stuff' the Uncut review informed me. 'A masterpiece of melancholy' it went on. The critic then namechecked some of Nick Cave and Neil Young's finest works as reference... Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2012 by Richard Neville
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful
I feel compelled to write a review having read some of the others here. I had been meaning to buy this album for a while and read some of the reviews just out of interest. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by P. S. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully good
Having read the polarised reviews of this album (either 5-star or 1-star, but little in between) I felt compelled to buy it. Read more
Published on 28 Dec 2011 by buzzthedog
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Bought this album in anticipation of seeing him at a festival this summer and it turns out to be the one of the most interesting albums i've ever had. Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by samfurniss
5.0 out of 5 stars Josh is a good person and thats good enough for me..
I attended the end of road festival and I watched Josh he is a good man, funny, good songs and just enchanting. Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by W. G. Kirkham
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
This album is simply stunning - lyrical, melancholic, dark, intelligent...I could go on but I won't. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by Séa
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
Having read favourable critical reviews, I thought I would give this a chance. I did give it numerous listens but I fear this album is highly overrated by the critics. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Mr. J. W. Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
This debut album from JTP comes some ten years after the disbandment of his previous band Lift To Experience. Read more
Published on 5 July 2011 by SMcQ
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