Love & The Dark

Jason Hawk Harris

Bloodshot Records, 2019

http://jasonhawkharris.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/14/2019

A Houston native currently living in Los Angeles, Jason Hawk Harris has been dealing with a lot of turmoil lately, including illness, death, and addiction among those closest to him. And like any decent artist, he's parlayed that strife into excellent art on this debut solo album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“The Smoke And The Stars” starts the album with a burst of ambience before settling into a powerful yet sparse setting, where soulful vocals are complemented by aching pedal steel as the song shifts from fuller, ebullient moments and back to bare. “Cussing At The Light” follows and goes entirely the opposite direction into to shuffling honky tonk sounds that will get you dusting off your boots and heading to the dance floor.

Elsewhere, “Giving In” flows with brilliant and melodic alt-country sounds that will remind you of the best days of Ryan Adams, while “Phantom Limb” stays soft and adventurous with a haunting feel in its sublime balladry. Near the end, “Blessed Interruption” makes great use of keys and guitar riffs for a unique brand of Americana, and “Red Room Blues,” the shortest tune at just two minutes, is a quick blast of playful country rock with pop flair. “Grandfather” ends the record dreamy and introspective and builds into a busy, dizzying display.

Harris is also a member of the esteemed indie folk outfit The Show Ponies, though his solo work is a far more personal venture (he even shares details from his mother's funeral), and one that brings him back to his country roots. This release flows with a timelessness that brings to mind legends like Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, and even future legends like Jason Isbell. If you have an ear for Americana, don't sleep on Love & The Dark – it's hands down the best album of its kind for 2019.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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