Josh T Pearson-Last Of The Country Gentlemen

‘I’m off to save the world or at least I think I am’ Josh T Pearson sings on opening track ‘Thou Art Loosed’ from his debut solo album ‘Last of the Country Gentlemen’. After his band Lift to Experience’s only release ‘The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads’ he and the band imploded and now ten years later he returns with a record that although bleak and subtly bruised is an absolute classic. With the starkness of solo Nico, the beauty of Nick Drake, the ramshackle of Syd Barret and the ghost of Bon Iver’s cabin fever it is lyrically weighty and musically bare, just like the messages it conveys. Seven tracks, with four coming in at over ten minutes, seems a stretch for one man and a guitar (Blixa Bad Seeds guests on two tracks adding haunting violin) but once it grabs you it won’t let go. With an empty bottle and a broken heart it is perfectly relentless in its execution, on ‘Sweetheart I ain’t your Christ’ Josh first expertly twists a Simon and Garfunkel lyric to his own end before singing ‘I’m not your saviour or your Christ or your god damn sacrifice and when I said I’d give my life I ain’t talking suicide’. This is a record that could only have been made by someone who has lived through pain and his ten year wilderness has garnished us with an epic body of work, god knows what he had to go through to get this to our ears and while I am generally sorry for all his demons without them we wouldn’t have this masterpiece.

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