REVIEW: Jason Eady’s “I Travel On” is Honest Simplicity with Instrumental Depth

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Jason Eady’s new release I Travel On (Old Guitar Records) should immediately capture the attention of Americana fans, even if you’re not a committed Eady fan yet. With his Texas style of honky tonk and frequently sad sack rhythms, countrified vocals peppered with word choices like “darlin’” and “ain’t no strangers,” this album strikes at the heart of country America.   But because it was produced by Eady and Americana founder Kevin Welch (Chris Stapleton, Trisha Yearwood) — and the additions of Rob Ickes on dobro, Kevin Foster on fiddle and mandolin for fanciful sounds and Trey Hensley on acoustic guitar, and Courtney Patton as vocal support — the honest simplicity is buoyed by a depth of instrumentalism that renders it a candidate for any Americana catalogue.

The album starts of with a bang with “I Lost My Mind in Carolina” where the fiddle is a badass rock fiddle, without a trace of the mournful.  The whole song is a Southern rock jubilee.  Then Eady shows off his guitar skills on “Calaveras County,” along with Ickes’ bent and quavering dobro, and here the fiddle and banjo play together in more bluegrass style.

Most of the time the album is solidly country in both its lyrical themes and its music.  Note the dobro is the only electric instrument on the album, and there’s plenty of throwback country style.  There’s  “I Travel On,” with its sleepy pace, and it’s not a coincidence that this is the title track.  Songs like “Below The Waterline” address real life fears, like ones about flooding and hurricane season so common nowadays: “when the river is risin’ it’s gonna take everything below the waterline.”    And then there’s “Happy Man” featuring Kevin Welch on vocals as a celebratory song of someone who’s “proud as a dad can be” who “married his best friend.”  Overall the album is a balance of country-genre styles and tempos, perfect for carrying you along in and out of various moods.  Kudos to Eady’s touring rhythm section Naj Conklin and Giovanni Carnuccio for their versatility.  Give it a listen for yourself, and buy your copy, herehttps://www.jasoneady.com/

Get your copy here.

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