Sometimes a recording contains a song that stops you short. The rest of the songs may vary from merely okay on up to really good, but that one track won’t let you go. Such is the case with the second release from Breaking Grass, an album of 12 originals written by guitarist/vocalist Cody Farrar. Some are good—some really good. One is brilliant.
“Among The Stones,” the opener, is a modal bit of nostalgia that makes good use of a pulsing rhythm and chugging passages of solo voice over insistent solo fiddle. That’s followed by the rapid title tune story of an escaped felon and gives the band a chance to display its considerable chops. Later comes a bright gospel tune with its positive admonition that no matter how bad things are, you “Can’t Look Down” if you’re looking up. Rate those as good.
A notch above are “Carry On Caroline” and “Oh How I Love You.” The former offers a “big hat” country feel and a guaranteed sing-along chorus, all in praise of a woman of legendary dancing prowess, while the latter swings out pure heart-on-the-sleeve sentiment over an engaging western swing arrangement. Either would be the recording’s highlight if not for Farrar’s gem, “Strings.”
About “Strings,” not enough good things can be said. Great imagery, great melody, great mood, all starting on a slow, blues fiddle intro that leads to a chorus in which a man pines while the radio plays “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and I feel every rhythm from his strings to mine. That line alone says it all, but Farrar nicely expands it with imagery of how Hank Williams gets him through a lost love, masterfully including an emotional interlude that weaves several of Hank’s titles into a narrative. If this song doesn’t garner the band and Farrar some recognition, something is seriously wrong. (www.breakinggrass.com.)BW