Noahjohn Water Hymns

To plainly sing the truth is the way of country music; to lazily meander your way up to the truth by taking colourful sidetracks and smoke breaks is the way of good country music. Carl Johns provides the solid base of music and stories of lust clashing with religion, family secrets and losses by drowning coaxed out like the tales of old men in front of general stores. The rest of the band match this slow deliberateness with a blend of singing saws, lap steel, viola and loose percussion, like some world-weary minstrel show stopped in town. The town they stopped in is Chicago, and Truckstop studio is where they recorded Water Hymns, also gaining a musical assist by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. His touch, added to Eena Ballard's string arrangements, nimbly elevates the songs while retaining their looseness and rough edges. The album ends with a line that nicely sums up its meandering journey: "I rose with the sun but my head was on wrong and decided on dormancy.” (Kill Deer)