Eric Hisaw first caught my ear a few years back with songs from his 2008 album “Nature Of The Blues,” which then opened up the rest of his catalog going back to 2000’s “Thing About Trains.” And this past SXSW I was lucky enough to catch a set at an off-festival performance. His latest, “Ghost Stories,” released at the end of July, grabs immediately with the title track and mix of tight country and ragged rock. Hisaw’s voice is dusty and rough, resonant and warm, not necessarily that big, only enhancing the emotional edge and gritty realism. The songs incorporate a sense of place and level of detail, creating tight, literary vignettes propelled by choruses that will have you singing along by the end of each track. Produced by Hisaw, the album places intimacy and immediacy above flash, meshing perfectly with tales of hard roads and weary hearts.
Highlights include the title track, the emotional centerpiece “Payphone,” with the lines:
“I’m standing here in this good full inch of water
staring at the bottom of a pint of Night Train
from this Louisiana payphone in the rain,”
and the chugging Ely-like “Don’t Live There Anymore.”
Start to finish, this is a tremendously strong, authentic, and honest album.
Buy: CD Baby