Jason Eady (Old Guitar)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., July 14, 2017
Jason Eady's sixth full-length reintroduces the Fort Worth songwriter, both in its eponymous title and substance. His previous pair of LPs, 2012's AM Country Heaven and 2014's Daylight & Dark, staked the Mississippi import as one of Texas' best-kept songwriting secrets, and here he culls a collection of acoustic ballads that digs deeper than he has before. Opener "Barabbas" brilliantly works the biblical tale into a classic country redemption narrative, setting up the road-running "Drive" and highway ode "Why I Left Atlanta." Vince Gill harmonizes on barstool regret "No Genie in This Bottle" behind sharply crafted Eady lines like, "If I had three wishes, my first would be for a second chance." The second side feels expressly autobiographical, the fiddle blues of "Rain" ceding to the weary "Where I've Been" and easy rolling melody of "Waiting to Shine." Closing pair "Not Too Loud" and "40 Years" showcase Eady's depth, the former number about watching his daughter grow and the latter reflecting on middle age. Pushing his songwriting to the fore, Jason Eady takes a major step forward.