Austin Lucas’ most recent album, Between the Moon and the Midwest, is awesomely reminiscent of vintage Garth Brooks. Lyrics from the Lucas’ song, “Midnight,” are reflective of Brook’s 1989 song “Much too Young,“ while many songs are heavy on the build up and pedal steel in a similar fashion of Brooks. The trendy sound of today’s reverb and feedback in Americana music give it a modern touch, but the album has a special late 80’s theme about it that is similar to a time when country made a sweeping comeback after a long exile. Not quite Folk Punk and not quite Outlaw Country, “Between the Moon and the Midwest” gets more interesting each time you listen.

In 2013, Lucas released a solo album, Stay Reckless, but this time, he leaves the thrashing guitar riffs and blue grass roots at the door without sacrificing the subtlety of his sweeter ballads. A pairing with Lydia Loveless for the gorgeous “Wrong Side of The Dream,” is a wise one. Anyone who has ever been or loved an artist can painfully relate. Their vocals together form a sound as savory as a sea- salted brownie, and the melody keeps listeners wanting more. “Unbroken Hearts”, the opener, has a that memorable, sing-along edge, but the song “William” is the real heartbreaker of the album. A story about a man caught in a careless affair with his best friend’s wife, which inevitably leads to death, “William” is one of those songs you listen to a handful of times just to be sure you’re hearing it right.

Coming from a musical bloodline, Lucas has released eleven solo records in his young age, has been with a few different record labels, and been a part of about four different bands. After exploration of that kind, he seems to have settled on a mature, more personal sound with this album. His collaboration with other artists offer up a fresh, kindred connection that is aflame in Americana music today, and this album captures it perfectly. Lucas is an old soul focused on his craft of songwriting and definitely deserves attention.

 

Review by Bylle Breaux

Published in Elmore Magazine