PIE Records - A2Z-LP-1006PIE18LP - 200 Gram Virgin Virgin
All Analogue Recording - Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound
Pressed at QRP Quality Record Pressings + Download Card
Why can't everything sound this good? Michael Fremmer Music 8/10 Sound 10/10
"The sound is immediate, unprocessed, three-dimensional and as deep and honest as Chacon's songwriting and singing. The dynamics and instrumental textures are as good as you will hear on a record — or live for that matter. The bass line erupts in a way you may have thought was extinct on modern recordings. Why can't everything sound this good?" - Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com
Singer/songwriter Thom Chacon delivers hardscrapple tales in a voice well-suited to the task that will immediately remind you of what's his name? Maybe John Prine, or John Mellencamp, or Steve Earle or Bruce or Guy Clark or?
But after a spell you'll just hear Chacon. HIs storytelling is as direct as his vocals. His melodies are serviceable and well-drawn, but not yet instantly memorable. It took a few plays to hear past the obvious influences but after that, this album makes for a consistently entertaining spin.
If you're looking for allegory look elsewhere because Chacon's words are to be taken literally. His stories are of the wrongly convicted, the hunted illegal, the wanted, the indebted living the "American Dream" worth more dead "cause baby I owe", . If you're looking for happy tunes, you've come to the wrong place, not that Chacon's characters complain. They are mostly defiant, heroic and stoic.
The action mostly takes place on the Southwestern American border and the parched-throated Chacon sounds as if he's not had water in days. He's playing guitar and harmonica recorded live in the studio and backed by, among others, Dylan's rhythm section of drummer George Recile and bassist Tony Garnier who keep the proceedings moving smoothly, yet turbulently throughout.
The live-in-the-studio production by Perry Margouleff engineered by William Wittman at Margouleff's Pie Studio was recorded and mixed in our favored analog domain and mastered that way by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound so can you guess how this LP pressed at Quality Record Pressings sounds?
I'll put it to you this way: if "Ain't Gonna Take Us Alive", with its 12 string electric doesn't deliver the chills on your stereo, your stereo needs work.
The sound is immediate, unprocessed, three-dimensional and as deep and honest as Chacon's songwriting and singing.
The dynamics and instrumental textures are as good as you will hear on a record—or live for that matter. The bass line erupts in a way you may have thought was extinct on modern recordings.
Why can't everything sound this good?
Michael Fremmer Music 8/10 Sound 10/10
• 200g Vinyl
• Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!
• All Analogue recording
• Limited time download card included
• Gatefold Jacket
Thom Chacon, vocals, guitar, harmonica,
Bess Chacon, backing vocals
Tony Garnier, bass (electric & upright)
Peter Stuart Kohman, mandolin
George Recile, drums, percussion
Arlan Schierbaum, accordion, keyboards
William Wittman, 12-string guitar
1. Innocent Man
2. American Dream
3. Juarez, Mexico
4. A Life Beyond Here
5. Chasing the Pain
7. Ain't Gonna Take Us Alive
8. Big River
10. No More Trouble
11. Bus Drivin' Blues
12. Grant County Side