Monday, February 2, 2015


The prolific singer-songwriter continues to define his own style, getting closer and closer to doing one thing very very well. Given his writing talents, this is no easy task, and he could easily be anything from an outlaw to a popular country guy to a hipster folkie. He's been cleaning up his act and rowdy ways over the last couple of years and albums, and allowing all the emotion and honesty to come through. Now he's one of the best roots songwriters going, with his heart on full display.

This album comes hot on the heels of last fall's Single Mothers, and for good reason. It was recorded at the same time, and initially it was one piece, but Earle felt each group of songs needed to be separate to make the right statement. Whereas Single Mothers was about the wreckage of a broken home, Absent Fathers is more about what happens next as the broken generation grows up and takes those issues with them into the world. Yes, there's some of Earle's past and present there, but mostly it's an examination of those feelings. The music is soft for the most part, bluesy acoustic picking, with just enough uptempo work to keep it from being too intense. Mostly, it's sad but true, like life.

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