Published Apr 05, 2018Two years ago, when Western Centuries came barrelling onto the scene with their flawless debut, Weight of the World, I couldn't wait to hear their next offering. But when Songs From the Deluge landed, I suddenly worried that it couldn't possibly live up to that initial magic. Now, I can't stop playing it.
Led by three songwriting multi-instrumentalist frontmen, Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and Jim Miller, Western Centuries have settled in somewhat, and sound more like a band now than an accidental supergroup. There's also more of a laidback feel to this record, compared to the explosive spark of their first album.
But they still deliver warm, perfectly crafted songs that capture everything that's great about country music, from down-and-out lyrics on "Cloud of Woes" ("I'm living on fumes / And I can't even huff 'em") to classic pedal steel ornamentation on "Warm Guns" and killer boogie-woogie piano on "Own Private Honky Tonk." The standout highlight of the album, "Three Swallows," combines a mellow, shoulder-shrugging tale of falling off the wagon, with just the right amount of Hammond organ. And no matter who's on the mic, each song is sung to perfection. (Free Dirt)