This isn't so much a review of Bristle Ridge as it is some meditations about Austin Lucas.
To be honest, I didn't really like his music at first. I was mostly annoyed by all of his songs about how he was sorry he was so terrible to his ex etc. etc. I figured, "If you're going to be a co-dependent jerk, she's better off without you." Let's just say he hit a sore spot. But I liked the music enough to include his discography in one of Suburban Home Records' 10 for $10 specials a few years back. For some reason, I didn't try him again until this past summer.
The deeper I got into A New Home in the Old World, I could feel, as King James would have said, the scales fall from my eyes. The man's a freaking genius. I don't usually have visceral responses to art; "Go West" made my bawl my eyes out the first time I listened to it. Austin hit a sore spot again -- but in a good way this time.
I'm happy to say I saw him perform this past Wednesday and his live shows are no less intense. As it turns out, his sister lives in New York and the whole family was in town for her wedding. They joined Austin on a number of songs. That, and combined with the intimacy of Rockwood Music Hall, it felt that we had been invited to a Lucas family sing-along. It was one of those beautiful moments that makes live music worth it.
As for Bristle Ridge? Clearly everything the man touches is golden. And I know Chuck Ragan is also a big name in these here musical parts. I enjoyed his songs on the album, so he'll be next on my listening queue. If you have any suggestions on where I should start in his catalogue, drop me a line.
Austin Lucas Official, Chuck Ragan Official, Listen on Spotify