Jason Boland

REVIEW: Jason Boland and the Stragglers “The Light Saw Me”


Jason Boland and the Stragglers — The Light Saw Me

While many singer-songwriters went internal with their songwriting during the pandemic, digging deep into emotions surfaced from time away from the road, Jason Boland went external —extraterrestrial, even.

What does a concept album about alien abduction by a Red Dirt Country legend sound like?
Well, if you’re Jason Boland and the Stragglers, it sounds a bit like psychedelic country rock and roll, especially when produced by Shooter Jennings.

In his 10th studio album in the two decades since Pearl Snaps, his smash debut album, dropped, Boland comes out with this experimental sci-fi cosmos rocker that expands on the tale of a UFO crash in 1897 in Aurora, Texas.

From the opening crackly, celestial-sounding intro: “Travelers and wanderers on the open range and the open road have been haunted by shapes of white dazzling color dropping down from a sea of stars,” Boland leads into a narrative of a Texas cowboy abducted by aliens in the 1890s who returned to earth in the 1990s.

Don’t be put off by the alien abduction narrative. It’s not as weird as you might think.

When musicians go off script and let their creativity fly and explore off-the-wall ideas, sometimes it works. Like here. The music loses none of Boland’s signature sound that his fans hold dear. Overall, it’s a fantastic collaboration between Boland and the Stragglers and Jennings, and remains true to the Red Dirt sound.

Opening track, “Terrifying Nature,” is a fantastic moody, country rocker with pedal steel, fiddle, acoustic and electric guitars that hooks you right away.

In the harder rocking, “The Light Saw Me,” you can feel Shooter’s influence. “A Tornado & The Fool,” has a more traditional country sound, full of fiddles and dancehall goodness.

“Straight Home” is a brooding bluesy number with mandolin and pedal steel.

Included is a beautiful cover of Red Dirt mentor Bob Childers song “Restless Spirits,” which fits right in with the narrative.

The Light Saw Me was recorded by David Spreng at Dave’s Room in Los Angeles, mixed by Trina Shoemaker, with Grammy-winning producer Shooter Jennings, (who also produced Boland’s Dark and Dirty Mile, at Boland’s request). Performers include Jason Boland, Grant Tracy, Roger Ray, Noah Jeffries, Jake Lynn, John Schreffler and Shooter Jennings.

All songs written by Jason Boland, Hell Pony Music (BMI), except: “Transmission Out” co-written by Ken Layne and Cody Angel, “Future” written by Grant Tracy, “Restless Spirits” written by Bob Childers, and “Faux Reel” co-written by Nick Worley.

Narration on “Terrifying Nature”, and cosmic funk interludes, “Transmission Out,” and “Transition In,” by Ken Layne from Desert Oracle Vol. 1.

For music and tour dates, visit: http://www.thestragglers.com

Leave a Reply!