On his last two albums, Jason Eady earned major acclaim for his ahead-of-the curve take on classic country, a bold departure from his earlier excursions into blues-infused Americana. Now with his sixth album, the Mississippi-bred singer/guitarist merges his distinct sensibilities into a stripped-down, roots oriented sound that starkly showcases the gritty elegance of his songwriting.

The follow-up to 2014’s critically praised Daylight/Dark—an album that “belongs on a shelf next to Dwight Yoakam’s Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room, Joe Ely’s Letter to Laredo, and yes, even Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages,” according to AllMusic—Eady’s latest finds the Fort Worth, Texas-based artist again teaming up with producer Kevin Welch. Now longtime collaborators (with their past efforts including 2012’s AM Country Heaven, a top 40 debut on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart), Eady and Welch worked closely in crafting
the album’s acoustic-driven yet lushly textured aesthetic. “At the beginning I told everyone I wanted to make a record where, if the power went out, we could still sit down and play all the songs the exact same way,” says Eady, who points out that steel guitar is the only electric instrument featured on the album.

Despite its subtle approach, the album radiates a warm vitality that’s got much to do with Eady’s gift for nuanced yet unaffected slice-of-life storytelling. “I’ve always been drawn to writing that’s got a simplicity to it, where you’re digging deep into real day-to-day life,” he notes. Here, that means touching on such
matters as turning 40 (on the reflective, soul-stirring “40 Years”), his daughter’s growing up and going off to college (on the sweetly heartbreaking “Not Too Loud”), and the everyday struggle to “embrace the messy parts of life instead of
trying to get the point where you’ve somehow fixed all your problems” (on “Rain,” a joyfully determined anthem featuring SteelDrivers fiddler Tammy Rogers).

Throughout the album, Eady’s soulfully rugged voice blends in beautiful harmonies with his wife, singer/songwriter Courtney Patton. And on “No Genie in This Bottle,” the legendary Vince Gill lends his singular vocals to what Eady refers to as a “good old country drinking song.”

In each track, Eady reveals a sharp sense of songcraft he’s honed since childhood. “Even back in my early days of getting into music, I always cared more about the writers than the singers,” says Eady, who grew up in Jackson.

“I’d look up who’d written a certain song, and then go seek out more songs from that writer.” At age 14—the same year he started writing his own material—Eady began performing in local bars and showing his natural grasp of everything from
soul and R&B to blues and country. After some time in the Air Force, he moved to Fort Worth and started playing open mic nights, where he quickly built up a devoted following. By 2005, Eady had made his debut with the independently released From Underneath The Old.

For Eady—who names Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, and Willie Nelson among his main inspirations—instilling each song with so much graceful honesty proved to be his greatest achievement and thrill in creating the new album. “When you first get started making music, your ideas are grandiose and more about the big
picture. But the longer I’ve done this, the more I’ve realized that the real joy comes from the process rather than the end goal,” he says. “Now it’s about getting better and finding more of myself with every album. So instead of writing what I think people want to hear, I’m writing what I want to write and trusting that—as long as it’s coming from an honest place—it’ll hopefully mean something to the people listening too.”

Cody Rogers

"Cody Rogers’ My Heart is the Most Lonesome Rodeo is something you should hear on a car radio on a dark road, headlights bouncing across the blacktop, windows rolled down. It sounds like it’s coming across a great distance, across time even, an album that has nothing in common with the slick retro plastic country that plays on so many terrible stations. These are songs delivered with authority and love, straight from the heart."

"There’s a sad dive bar somewhere between heaven and hell, and Rogers’s voice sounds like something you’d hear booming from the stage of that place. Shivery, deep, weathered. Kell Kellum’s pedal steel chases behind like a ghost. The bounce is there too. And the strut. “Pistol Whipped,” “Old Friend,” “Martyr,” and “$5 Cover” all tread wonderfully into Magnolia Electric Co. territory, that chugging tremble that makes it feel like there’s no difference between attacking and being attacked."

“That’s the thing about the truth,” Rogers sings on “Hi-Beams.” “It doesn’t die, it just consumes.” This serves as a sort of mission statement for him. He’s occupied with the violence we do to each other, with the nature of belief, with mistakes and misjudgments and myths, with youth and age and the death of dreams. This is an album that could’ve only come out of the conflicted and complicated and Christ-haunted American South, a place of beauty both desolate and devastating, a place with blood on its hands and with tenderness in its heart."

"I’m thankful as hell for these songs. I’ll carry them with me. They drive down dark roads, but they’re full of hope. Hope for love, hope for reconciliation, hope for place, hope for humanity. 'A tree that can’t grow will surely die' is the album’s last line, and it’s a fitting note to end on, Rogers reminding us how destructive hate and anger truly are. Carry these songs with you too. They’re something to hold up against the doom that’s trying to consume and crush us."

William Boyle

$10.00

Tickets

Ardenland presents

Tickets are $10 advance and day of show.

This is a general admission show. Any seating is general admission and available on a first come, first served basis.

Tables are also available for reservation in advance for a $100.00 reservation fee. Please contact the venue at 601.292.7121 or mary@ardenland.net for more information.

Order tickets by phone at 877-987-6487.

There will be a $5 upcharge taken at the door for persons under 21.

**Show Presented in part by Capital City Beverage, Cathead Vodka, A2Z Printing & Find It In Fondren!

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