It's easy to see why the Canadian government helped foot the bill to record this album. (Wouldn't it be nice if our government did that? I guess good things can happen to colonies that don't rebel against the most powerful empire in the world?) It's kind of an instant classic.
I can say with perfect honesty that the lead and title track, "Empty Room Blues" is by far the most imaginative, non-novelty (ie, it doesn't turn out the narrator committed double-suicide, is a zombie, is in love with a horse, etc.) breakup song I've heard since I started this here country music album two years ago. So let's do the math on that.
And it continues to get better. "Lizzy Dying of a Broken Heart" is a chilling tale of the unintended victims of war. "Luxury Motel" reminds us of the things that were. But "Home To You" also asks us to remember the happier things in life. (Or, at least, bittersweet.) But all of these stories are held together by masterful writing and relentless, organic musicianship. Don't sleep on this one, folks.
And listen to "Luxury Motel" here. (For some reason, I can't embed it.)
New Country Rehab -- Official, Facebook, iTunes, Amazon
*Bleak: a land devoid of vegetation, open to the elements. Yeah, it's a stretch. You can write this thing, if you want.