Gary Pratt’s “Something Worth Remembering” (LP)

I have never been the biggest fan of country music. It’s not to say I hate it or anything, I love me some Johnny Cash or even some Otis Redding on a good day, but the modern country music scene is one of those things that’s been super hard for me to get really involved in. It’s just something about the artificialness to it and maybe that as a “city slicker” it’s a little hard for me to connect to it.

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I won’t even really acknowledge the number of jokes you can throw at Country music because they’re lazy and I think to diminish the art from growing as it would any art. It didn’t exactly convert me into a complete lover of the genre, but Gary Pratt’s Something Worth Remembering oddly struck a chord with me in a way that’s a little difficult to describe, but if it has this effect on me, I’d be hard-pressed to find out why it couldn’t happen to someone else. Gary Pratt is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who probably has a humble heart and a genuine love for what he does musically, especially considering what he’s been through in his life that he certainly transcribes into his music almost expertly. It’s noted in the press kit that he lost his brother not that long ago and this album serves as a memorial for him and it’s reflected in the finale song that I’m not even kidding, got me a little choked up.

This is the power of Country music that I’m really beginning to understand. It’s not meant to be taken overly seriously, or at least as seriously as any other musical genre should be. It’s tongue in cheek and has the playfulness of that one buddy maybe you haven’t seen in a while and it provides a catharsis for feeling things maybe you hadn’t thought about in some time or maybe even tried to stifle it. Pratt’s work has always been painfully authentic and this might be some of his best work to date, especially in places where it gets dark like the track “Before Someone Gets Hurt” which sees him atone for all the things he’s done that have hurt someone and how difficult it can be to deal with it. It’s something that’s remedied later and from of all places, love.

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There’s a duet on here that is just inspiring and sweet and displays excellent chemistry between the performers, it’s like one of those songs that are begging to be used in a commercial or a movie, it just strikes that beautiful universal chord that some spend their whole careers attempting to hit. I know I’m gushing about the album like it’s the second coming, but it genuinely elicited such a powerful emotional response from me, and sometimes, that can do more for the album than even the technical qualities even though those are also fantastic. Honestly in music is never overrated and Pratt makes it one of his best tools.

Michael Rand

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