Born in Lubbock TX, Terry Allen is as far removed from the country music style of Nashville as it's possible to be. His literate and enigmatic verses are reminiscent of material written by those masters of narrative, fellow Texan Guy Clark and John Prine.This beguiling album features Hammond B3, mandolin, steel guitar, viola, violin and cello. The absence of percussion gives the album a sense of warmth and intimacy as though Allen and his band were performing around your kitchen table.
"Bottom Of The World", his first release in fourteen years, finds the old country maverick in philosophical mood as he ponders in " Angels Of The Wind"
"Why do angels have wings if they can't fly away
From the way things are to the way they should be?"
and continues with the imagery of angels in
"Do they dream of hell in heaven
Are they restless with their reward?
Does God spend time with his angels
Or does he show them no regard?"
Half sung and half spoken and with a simple acoustic guitar, cello and mandolin accompaniment these songs make for compelling listening.
As enigma follows enigma I'm unsure if the catchy "Hold On To The House" has some subtle sexual connotations, is about real estate management or both:
"Stand in the kitchen, stand in the hall
Make you stand in the bedroom,
Stand against the wall
But you'd better hold on to the house".
Four Corners is an area of Colorado where four states meet. Allen's ingenious song references a black haired temptress out of Texas, down to Mexico, California, Arizonia (sic) to the 1,2,3,4 ....corners of Colorado. It is a masterpiece of narrative with Allens's gentle baritone caressing the lyrics to a simple steel guitar.
This album is one of Terry Allen's finest moments with a mesmerising, evocative, philosophical and sometimes visceral set of songs with melody and band rising to a glorious encounter with perfection.
on 12 May 2013
BIT OF A SLEEPER,THIS ONE. ON FIRST PLAYING THIS CD,THE LISTENER MIGHT THINK 'WELL,THE TITLE TRACKS GREAT,THE ONE ABOUT THE BLOOD COURIER IS GOOD,THE JOHN WAYNE ONE IS A BIT STRANGE,AND THE SONG ABOUT THE DEAD DOG IS DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO GET PLAYED MUCH. ADD TO THIS THE FACT THAT 3 OF THE SONGS HAVE BEEN USED BEFORE,AND IT ALL LOOKS A BIT TOUCH-AND GO. BUT,LIKE ALL GOOD ALBUMS,REPEATED PLAYS REVEAL A REAL GEM.HIS USUAL ACIDIC AND SOMETIMES ANGRY DELIVERY HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH A MORE GENTLE RESIGNATION,WITH LOTS OF PONDERING AND MUSING.THE MUSICIANSHIP IS AMAZING:WHEN ONE LOOKS AT AT THE SMALL LIST OF PLAYERS IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE BACKING IS GOING TO BE TOP-NOTCH,BUT EVEN SO HERE IT TAKES THE SONGS TO ANOTHER DIMENSION AND PUTS EACH ONE ON ITS OWN PEDESTAL.A SLOW -BURN TREASURE.