Good to find Earle finding a home with London indie label Loose. A label who believe in the music they release and who punch above their weight. For his latest release Earle has found a more personal and slightly introspective space. The album opens with Worried Bout The Weather wherein two people circle round each other and talk about the weather rather than what’s actually on their minds.
This is a more personal album and one recorded since he got married and found some solace and happiness in that situation. He still hasn’t lost his anger completely as shown in the title track which is directed against absent fathers and perhaps one in particular. Though there is some comprehension of the causes that create that situation - not forgiveness but not entirely with understanding. Elsewhere the tight band rocks out a little more (My Baby Drives) or cuts the song back to just voice acoustic and steel guitars. Sympathetic in many ways to the expression of the mood for It’s Cold In This House. The album closes with Burning Pictures, an up-tempo song that deals with moving on from the emotional turmoil expressed through burning pictures and breaking frames.
Produced by Earle with the assistance of engineer Adam Bednarik it has a tight sparse sound that entirely suits this set of songs. Aside from Earle on acoustic guitar and vocals the trio of players includes Paul Niehaus on electric guitar and pedal steel, Matt Pence on drums and Mark Hedman on bass. Simple and direct yet expressive and full of tone. It is perhaps slightly more country than of late but without any of the overtones that that brings and conjours in some younger minds. Today and A lonely Night and White Gardenias finds Niehaus underlying the longing and loss of the songs.
As with most of Justin Townes Earl’s albums these songs require a few plays to get to know them and bring out the melodic depth that he has imbued in them. Single Mothers is a singular success.