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4.8 out of 5 stars24
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 October 2013
A mix of West Coast harmonies & country rock with very much an early 70s hippy flavor would I suppose be an apt description of the content of this the third studio release by Israel Nash and his band. In many ways this is a natural progression from his last album (Barn Doors) although this new release is a little more laid back in its feel. If you are a fan of Neil Young you cannot miss the influence throughout and this is no bad thing. This is probably most noticeable on the second track 'Through The Door'. Each and every track on this release is excellent with no fillers resulting in an album which is consistent in its quality from start to finish.(No mean feat for any album). If I was forced to choose a favorite I would have to at this point in time pick the title track (Rain Plans). I have just returned from seeing Israel Nash and his band performing live at the Real Music Club in Belfast and have been blown away by an excellent performance. As would be expected this album was heavily featured in his set list. Should you get the opportunity to see him live I would urge you to do so.

If you are a fan of Neil Young, The Rolling Stones during their late 60s early 70s heyday, or Crosby Stills & Nash, then Israel Nash should tick all your boxes so to speak. A good song writer with a tight backing band producing first rate classic country rock. What more does anyone need?
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on 7 October 2013
I can only echo the sentiments of previous reviewers. (incidentally - all very well composed reviews). I too pre-ordered the album and received it 36 hours before seeing them perform in Nottingham. I have waited until now to post this review to avoid making a hasty judgement. I have listened to little else in the past week and it still sounds fresh, meaningful and most importantly enjoyable. Because the music and production are so removed from Barn Doors it made me a bit wary. This unease soon faded away as I came to appreciate the quality of the composition and despite previous carping about the band the musicianship on show. Music does not need to be complex to be enjoyed. The production has been mentioned by other reviewers and to be fair is very reminiscent of early 70's "Americana". Despite this tightly packed sound there is enough separation in the mix to pick out each component. My only gripe is that the vocals are a bit deep in the mix anud aren't as accessible as on Barn Doors. I also believe the album to have no weak links and my current pick is Mansion. The band are currently touring Europe but only have 3 dates left in England. Catch them if you can. Next time they won't be playing to 170 people in the back of a pub. Mind you the selfish side of me won't mind if they do!
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on 4 October 2013
When I first heard this record, I thought what the hell direction has Israel taken, it's dreary and murky in comparison to his two previous records, it's definitely not as easily accessibly.


Like many things in life perseverance reaps its rewards.It's a bold move from Israel to move into this new direction. The sounds are much more layered and multiplied, the vocals much deeper in the mix.

The tone of the record is very much in tune with itself, indeed this is an album to be listened to in its entirety rather than a collection of songs. Israel and his band are painting landscapes with their sounds.

This is quite a stunning piece of music, hats of to Israel for having the courage of his convictions and skill to pull this off. Once you get it, it'll blow you away.
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on 3 October 2013
This is another excellent album from the underrated Israel Nash Gripka.
Here it comes. Drums and base to the fore with sometimes muted vocals back in the mix
along with a wide wash of guitar from Eric Swanson (on pedal steel) and the even more
underrated Joey McLellan. Just lie back and let the whole thing wash over you although
the sound may be a bit dense at times for some people. Shades of late sixties psychedelia,
the Verve at their best and echoes of west-coast rock are all in there.
And to think that this album celebrates Israel's roots back in the
central plains of Missouri. A wonderful journey right enough.
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on 5 October 2013
Been a fan since the excellent 'Barn Doors' cd and having just seen him and band 'live' recently ING is the real deal. This album takes him in a different direction somewhat, is multi- layered with a Neil Young/ West coast country rock feel throughout. It takes a couple of listens but is a real grower. The final track on the album is so damn good! Lets hope this proves to be his breakthrough CD, he is pure class. A must for all fans of country rock.
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on 18 October 2013
Great album. I agree with another reviewer, that not all of the songs leap out at first - I thought Bon Iver's first was bland at first listen! 'Barn doors', Israel's first was crackling in places, but this album bursts forth. It is more consistent, complex, bubbling like hot soup, occasionally spitting out great harmonica, blistering bursts of electric guitar or solo freakouts; spine chilling steel guitar amid an atmospheric wash of sound that pervades each track. It works.

There are a mixture of influences - it's swampy southern rock one minute, the next... it is multicolour - tracks paint pictures - it's fingerpicking, soaring choruses, psychedelic, 70s, 80s (even), drum driven, steel guitar driven, 12 string strummy, Hendrixy, a bit of everything! The main thing is you can't say it's overdone or tries too hard.

I'm sitting here gutted that I missed him live due to a Devon holiday planned that badly. Still, if I have to make do with recorded output like this, I wont complain.

Cliché time - album of this year? Quite possibly - if it's not an Uncut/Mojo mag top 5, I'm stopping my subscription!

Buy this album - the man deserves his studio time payout back, and to be encouraged back there!
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on 18 October 2013
What can I say... Brilliant , Fantastic , BEST ALBUM OF 2013?
Well ....
Its a hark back to better musical days. Sounds a little like Neil Young "Yuma" Mixed with "Harvest" Mixed with Crosby Stills and Nash. But its not a dated sound, its not a copy its a new sound . THEIR SOUND.
The band are best live. If you like their albums go see them live because they are 100 times better. I'm not putting the album down at all but like most GREAT bands they sound their best live.

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on 6 October 2013
What a fantastic album, after his last two cd's I have been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for his latest instalment and boy have I not been disappointed. This is by far and away his best work to date, listened to the title track on his website the other week and it totally blew me away, over 7 minutes of pure bliss. Pre ordered the cd on amazon and havn't listened to anything else since. Keep up the great work Isreal, one day you will be a big name.
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on 28 March 2014
A summer has ended. Autumn is arriving. It’s an excellent time for taking a hike into the forrest. Tree leeves are changing their colors. Green turns into golden orange, yellow and red. The sun shines. Its beams are not so strong as before, but still they touch you gently. The low breeze sometimes turns up its power.

That’s what “Rain Plain” does to you. One reviewer wrote “the group of musicians he assembled to breath life into his songs is, to say the least, inspired.” For 100% I agree with those words. The guitar work of Nash en Joey McClennan create a beautiful stretched out wall of sound in which the steel guitar adds an extra, strong component. Where it predecessor the “Barn” record was a collection of different style of songs within the genre, “Rain Plains” sounds like a concept-album without being a concept album. If the order of songs would have been difference everything still would make sense.

“Rain Plains” has a beautiful collage wide-open -space sound. With the great help of the steel guitar the guitar notes and tones are long and stretched. Yes, it is a soundscape record. In the prog-rock music scene its common to have very long songs. “Rain Plains” does not have very long songs, but it feels like the songs are very long. The greatest thing is that every song changes so smoothly into the next song without sounding like an extension of the song before. In the beginning you are not sure which direction, but once you are there your eyes are wide open.

Opening track “woman at the well” sets the tone for the whole record. Immediately you’ll listening to a soundscape by a very long, warm tone. Nash his comforting voice makes you relaxed and at ease. Personal favorite “Who in time” is like somebody in the distance in hot air in a dessert and step by step comes close to you. It has this psychedelic sixties touch, but still has its feet firm on the ground. Final track “Rexanimarum” rocks, has bouncing guitars, waving lines, goes up and down and ends the record perfectly.

“Rain Plains” is the kind of record that with every turn it gets better and better. Outstanding.
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on 9 October 2013
This is a record that takes me back years to when real albums had to be listened to twice or three times to understand their beauty and the way they work as one. This is a proper old fashioned masterpiece. The sound and influences are mercurial. Not quite direct enough for pure NY, not laid back enough for Crosby but they are there in spirit. It sounds a bit like America but without the cheese... yet modern too... touches of Fleet Foxes and even Buddy Miller or early Jim Lauderdale .... (pretty close to the truth) ... but not quite either. This is what makes it great I suppose. It sounds like lots of things but IS what is is ... a darn good listen by a great songwriter and singer
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