Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps album review

Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps album review

Today I bought the album Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps from iTunes.  I’ve listened to it all the way through three times, and now I’m listening to it for the fourth time as I write this.  And I’m sure I’ll be listening to the album much more in the future.

Before I give you my opinion, I’ll give you my five-year old daughter’s opinion: she loved it!  As soon as see heard it, she started dancing, and she kept twirling around for a good fifteen or twenty minutes. And now I’ll blab about what I think about the album.

I first heard about Jacob Tovar a few months ago through the Secret Sister’s Facebook page.  I saw that the Secret Sisters did some concerts with him, and they recommended him, so I did some googling.  All I found were a couple of songs on Sound Cloud, one of which was “Good Spirits.”  I played the song and instantly loved it.  I played it over and over and over.  And I thought, “Wow, this guy is so good.  Why doesn’t he have any more music available?”  But then I saw that he had an album coming out eventually, so I decided I would get the album as soon as it was released, and that’s what I did.

If you like Hank Williams Sr. and old-fashioned country music, you’ll like Jacob Tovar.  When you listen to it, you might be surprised that you’re listening to an album that was released only a week ago, because it sounds so much older and richer. 

The emphasis on this album is the vocals and the lyrics.  Tovar’s unique singing style is front and center.  I think my favorite song is still “Good Spirits,” but I don’t think there’s a song on here I don’t like.  

I love the way I can understand what he’s saying.  So many bands these days have singers that you can’t understand because you literally can’t decipher what the singer is singing. 

The lyrics also have a directness that I love in classic country music.  The lyrics are simple, but they tap into universal human experiences.  Most of the lyrics from Joe Pug, or Imagine Dragons, or the Killers, for example, are too confusing or vague or artsy.  I guess what I’m saying is, it shouldn’t take a lot of work to enjoy music.

I get the feeling that Jacob Tovar could be backed up by just about any good guitarist or drummer.  The focus on these songs is the vocals.  And that’s how a lot of the old-timey country music was: very heavy on vocals.

I don’t think this album will ever get played on the radio, unless it’s Internet radio.  There aren’t any radio-friendly hits with mass appeal.

The album was recorded in a studio, but it has a live sound to it.  It's not over-produced.

Five of these songs are covers of old country songs, but I’ve never heard the songs before, so they’re new to me.

Overall it’s a great album and I’m glad I bought it.

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