The Long Ride Home
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., May 13, 2016
Consider Evan Charles a musician's musician amongst the eclectic Austin scene. Helping populate a plethora of local acts including day-trippers the Daze, basement grinders the Sweet Nuthin, and R&B jammers the Happen-Ins, the singer here immerses himself in folk and Americana as if he and his new backing trio Altamesa were born to it. The Long Ride Home thus cruises long, lonely stretches of highway and the Southern tumbleweed plains. Melancholic fare set to finger-plucked ruminations ("Reckoning Road"), whiskey-tinged country ("Portrait"), and acoustic ballads ("The Long Ride Home") reverberate in Charles' vulnerability, as deep, disarming, and distinct as his voice. Slide guitar and mournful waltzes coalesce with his introspective timbres on "Bad Idea" ("I pass the hours between me and you") and the hopeless "Caught Up on Time" ("Or time has caught up on us"). Just as Neil Young ditched the gaudy rock of Crosby, Stills & Nash for the rural gold of Harvest, Charles' Long Ride Home benches rock & roll for a truly memorable troubadour moment.