When I think of the future of country music outside of the formulaic cookie-cutter stuff that currently rules the 21st-century airwaves, a few individuals come to mind that give me hope for the continued vibrant growth of the genre. At the top of my list of male performers are Kentucky native Tyler Childers, Oklahoma native Zach Bryan, Texas native Charley Crockett, and the subject of this review, Idaho native Colby Acuff.
While their styles are diverse, the one common thread between them is that you can hear the history of the music in their voices and songs that you don’t often hear on mainstream radio.
This is on full display in the case of Acuff with his latest release Western White Pines (Deluxe Edition) which is actually a rerelease of the original album of the same name that was released back in June of this year. Acuff adds six songs to a record that was already a sterling example of why he is one of the best up-and-coming singer/songwriters in the genre and makes an even stronger case for why it should be considered one of the best albums of 2023.
Particular highlights of this dynamic and passionate collection of sixteen tunes include the titular track “Western White Pines,” “One Day At a Time,” “Playing God Again,” “Outlaw In Me,” Hard Livin’ Life,”“Welcome To Tom’s,” “Movin’,” and “Ain’t No Time To Die.”
Acuff demonstrates on this album that he is a master storyteller and troubadour in the grandest sense of those terms. His songs are an inimitable and spirited combination of honky tonk, bluegrass, and folk that he puts his indelible stamp on.
Of his music, Acuff says “I try to write honest songs in order to give people the authenticity they deserve.” This he does spectacularly with his creations while his voice has a swagger and spirited robustness that few other artists can rival at the moment.
On the song “Once in a Lifetime “ off of 2022’s equally stellar Honky Tonk Heaven he lists Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, and Merle Haggard as his musical heroes and you can hear of all of those legends, and more in Acuff’s magnificent and well-crafted songs on this record.
This deluxe edition of Whispering White Pines is further evidence of his dazzling brilliance and ascending star in the country music universe.
Whispering White Pines (Deluxe Edition) by Colby Acuff was produced by Eddie Spear and is now available everywhere including on the artist’s website at https://www.colbyacuff.com/ .
Enjoy our interview here: Interview: Colby Acuff on Being a Modern Day Outlaw
Credits: Colby Acuff – Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals, erik Bowen- Organ, Piano, Vocals (Background), Billy Contreras – Fiddle, Kyler Daron – Banjo, Guitar (Acoustic), Mandolin, Vocals (Background), Thorleifur Gaukur Davidsson – Harmonica, Josh Hebert – Drums, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals (Background), Stefan Jarocki – Bass, Vocals (Background), Jack Lee -Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals (Background), Matt Menefee – Banjo, Shaun Richardson – Pedal Steel Guitar, Kristen Rogers – Vocals (Background), Geoff Saunders – Bass, Seth Taylor – Banjo, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mandolin, Vocals (Background)