Teddy Russell release Texas Soul LP

Teddy Russell release Texas Soul LP

URL: https://www.teddyrussellmusic.com/bio

There’s no question Texas born singer/songwriter and musician Teddy Russell has country music in his soul and the particular value in his brand of country music resides in how he imposes a modern consciousness on the form. There’s real talent in pouring old wine into new bottles and we hear that at perhaps the apex of its idea as Russell recasts a number of themes through the vehicle of stripped down, atmospheric country cut from a classic cloth. His debut solo album Texas Soul is an eleven song collection relying musically on acoustic guitar, spotless harmonies, and exquisitely chosen instrumental embellishments from organ, electric guitar, and percussion fleshing the songs out. His Plainview, Texas origins are audible during every second of Texas Soul.

Despite the album’s lean sound, the songs achieve fullness thanks to the shape of Russell’s arrangements and how production enhances their merits. This is evident even during the first song “Spit & Cuss” – the measured drumming perfectly integrated into the mix, the light chugging bounce of piano through the song, and the brief flurries of gritty electric guitar. It revisits a handful of common songwriting tropes from the genre, but Russell’s writing reframes these moments in his own language, both lyrical and musical. The album’s third cut ‘UFO” is like an introspective travelogue and, in my estimation, the highlight of Texas Soul. It’s a marriage of Tex-Mex balladry with a bevy of imagery undoubtedly bursting with personal meaning for Russell but cast in such universal terms that any listener can enjoy its magic. The material on this is release has production ideally tailored for Russell’s aims and few songs reflect that better than this cut.

“Holdin’ the Line” begins as the album’s most deliberately paced song, but Russell utilizes a well timed tempo shift for this track and the second half evolves into a brisk dance between understated electric and acoustic guitar. The layered approach of Russell’s music is highlighted well with this song and the juxtaposition of its two textures makes for a great number. “Hollywood” has electric guitar and organ making appearances and the latter instrument makes a particularly colorful impression on the song missing from many of the earlier tunes. The relaxed electric strumming laid over the top of the acoustic guitar stride of “Hogtied” is the song’s brightest color, but the superb rhythm section work gives it an irresistibly beating heart.

“Young Love” and the finale “Texas Blood” are arch classic country songs in some way. The first of the two songs gives listeners a panoramic character study of sorts without a single portraiture belabored and any fan of traditional country will recognize the style. The latter tune is another breezy but tempered shuffle with the acoustic guitar giving a strong urgency throughout and Russell delivering one of his best vocals on the release. They are emblematic of the excellence defining Texas Soul; this is true alt-country, songs ripped from the pages of Teddy Russell’s life, and hopefully the first of many such releases.

PURCHASE LINK: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/teddyrussell

Michael Rand

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