Josh T. Pearson
Last of the Country Gentlemen (Mute)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., March 18, 2011
Josh T. PearsonLast of the Country Gentlemen (Mute)
In 2001, Denton's Lift to Experience took off overseas with its debut double LP, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, a Lone Star classic of Pentecostal space rock that netted three John Peel sessions in less than six months. Frontman Josh T. Pearson spent the next decade culling his mystique, literally living in the wilderness and releasing only a split single with the Dirty Three. His long-awaited solo debut, Last of the Country Gentlemen, is the sound of Old Weird America exported to London and then recorded in Berlin. In standouts like "Woman, When I've Raised Hell" and the 11-minute "Sweetheart, I Ain't Your Christ," Pearson rambles like a lone cowboy poet who's been out to pasture too long, mixing visceral religious and sexual imagery in a manner that suggests early Leonard Cohen. This gentleman's utterly unique though, his finger-picked acoustic guitar proceeding in a drunkard's step with crooked narratives, most notably in "Honeymoon's Great! Wish You Were Her," a 13-minute remorseful ode to "another woman who simply ain't my wife," accented with subtle, aching violin. These are stone-cold peyote visions of biblical proportions, offbeat and occasionally stunning. (Wed., 9:30pm, Central Presbyterian Church; Fri., 12mid, 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn)
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