Friday, November 12, 2010

Album Review: Things I Can’t Control

Artist: John Moreland & the Black Gold Band (MySpace, Facebook, BandCamp,
Title: Things I Can’t Control (BandCamp, Amazon)

John Moreland is an alt country, rock ‘n’ roll singer/song writer from Tulsa and Things I Can’t Control was released in August for download. This month he also released a new EP entitled Hope Springs Ephemeral but I haven’t gotten a chance to get it yet (I just downloaded Things I Can’t Control this morning). I first heard of John Moreland through Stephen Egerton. Moreland provided the lyrics and vocals for the song “Abundance of Fluff” on Egerton’s amazing album The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton and after hearing that I picked up a copy of Endless Oklahoma Sky and was thoroughly impressed. Moreland has a voice that is deep and slightly gruff, reminding me of a cross between Jon Snodgrass, Chad Price, and John Mellencamp.

I had somehow missed the fact that Things I Can’t Control was released back in August—I did see something about the free download of the album in the forums last week and made a mental note to get it—but while in my car yesterday I heard “Bastards of the Highway” on The Spy and was blown away (I realized that the this song that wasn’t on any of the John Moreland releases that I currently had and must have been on that album that I read about). Needless to say one of the big things on my list of things to get done on my day off (which is today) was to download the album. And holy moley am I glad that I did!

Right from the opening notes of the first track “Brothers & Sisters” I knew that I was in for a treat. Every song on this album is earnest, honest, and a testament to the heart and power of great rock ‘n’ roll music. This is the kind of record that you could play for all different types of people, not just the punk and alt country fans, and they would enjoy it. John Moreland is an excellent song writer and thanks to the help of Stephen Egerton in the production chair (and on drums) these songs shine with perfect production. It really is a shame that this record isn’t getting airplay across the country because it really is that flipping good. Fans of everything from Drag the River to CCR should do themselves a favor and give this album a listen.

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