Occasionally an artist comes along who epitomizes the sound and mission of Ear to the Ground. Whether it is in style or mere swagger, they are the ones whose songs give verification to the need for great music sites. Enter Ohio’s native son Grayson Schick. Some of you may remember the terrific review Kate wrote of his EP “Winter Sessions”. Well now he is back with his first full-length release “Part Time River” which is produced by another ETTG favorite, Joshua James. Schick’s “Part Time River” shows an emerging artist with a full-time talent for smoldering alt-country tunes that will make you think, lament, and even dance a little. He gives the listeners honest insight into his wanderings and wonderings without revealing too much. For an artist of his age, he is well ahead of the curve.
“Come on, come Saint Jude
Why won’t you answer when I call to you?
You just sit there and you haunt and you tease me
How can I help but hate Thee?
Why won’t you rescue the weak?”
The artist laments in a strong tune named after the saint of desperation, “Saint Jude”. Grayson evokes a lot of religious imagery in his lyrics throughout but never does so at the sake of authenticity or blasphemy. He is able to honestly wrestle with life’s unknowns with grit backed with a road weary voice and near perfect instrumentation. This could easily be mistaken for a Ryan Adams song.
This is a theme that continues in the alt-country tune “Talk of Heaven” which is complete with an ideal mix of electric guitar and harmony. One of the strengths of this album is how his lines pour into each other without being held back or rushed. Schick performs in a mature balance that grips the heart of the listener. “Remember the Wars” is another contemplative tune carried through this same space.
“Mouths to Feed” is a bluesy folk type tune that paints a melancholy picture that opens with the words “O I’ve loved the Sea since the day I could dream” backed by a Tarantino style guitar. While album closer “As Long As She Calls Me Her Babe” treads on familiar country music fodder of a flawed but all too human relationship. This is the perfect tune to end the record on and truly shows the range of talent of the young artist.
This is definitely an album that is worth the few bucks you will pay to download. It embodies Ear to the Ground as well as the talent of the great Midwest singer songwriters. If you are not convinced, check out his profile on Noisetrade and download three tracks for free.
For fans of: Ryan Adams, David Ramirez, Gregory Alan Isakov, Alt-Country, Deep Soul-Searching Lyrics, and the Perfect Mix of Organ and Banjo