Having already briefly tested the murky waters of success, Josh T Pearson has since existed quietly on the very periphery of the music radar for the best part of the last decade.
Following the break-up of his band Lift to Experience, whose sole release was the critically acclaimed 2001 album ‘The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads’, Pearson has modestly flirted with the idea of a comeback. And after gathering his thoughts for almost ten years, the Texan recounts deeply personal tales of love and misplaced expectations in the form of solo project, ‘Last of the Country Gentlemen’.
The inner workings of an equally poignant and painful piece is constructed purely of bare mechanics; a man with his guitar and an abundance of honest reflections, however grim a story they may tell. Pearson’s haunting gospel-like vocals, etched at times with a distinct feeling of anguish, take centre stage among clever acoustic guitar and the occasional mournful violin. ‘Though Art Loosed’ is a powerful hymn-like song. Rebounding plucked guitar and Pearson’s heartfelt vocals, particularly his delivery of the almost heroic line, ‘I’m off to save the world, at least I can hope’, make for moving listening.
With only six tracks remaining, the album does seem a tad lean until faced with the laborious task of negotiating epic ballads such as ‘Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ’ and ‘Honeymoon Is Good, Wish You Were Her’, each lasting for over eleven minutes.
It certainly becomes hard going at times and even though ‘Last of the Country Gentlemen’ may not be to everyone’s liking, if you can hit the lights and steer through the gloomy fog, then just maybe you will discover it’s admittedly bleak but charming vulnerability. BT