Written by Ashley Feller
Old Shoe’s Country Home is the most sublime combination of freshness and nostalgia. The vocals and guitar fills are quite reminiscent of bands such as America, and perhaps Pure Prairie League. The first track Long Black Hair is a short but sweet beginning to an excellently produced album. The song paints excellent imagery and only leaves the listener craving more which is absolutely delivered through the remainder of the album.
The next track Bayou Honey seems to have a slight Levon Helm vibe involved. The guitar solo is much like a conversation between two guitars. The balance between distortion and the longer melodic lines truly complement each other and combined make for a pretty well constructed solo section. The title track Country Home continues on with a great acoustic rock feel. The instrument that seems to be the binding agent is the Hammond organ. The sustain builds slight tension which is the element that progresses to a most enjoyable summit for the listener.
The album starts to take a turn on the fourth track, Georgia Night. The vocals might be a nod to J.J. Cale. This song begs the listener to dance and sway. The guitar solo is concise is considerably the best one of all on the whole album. The vocals on the next song Oneida County are the highlight of the album. It was pretty clever of Old Shoe to utilize the melodic phrasing in the way they did. The walk down to the minor chord just after the first guitar solo really pulls the whole piece together and creates a delightful dissonance which seems to aggressively return in the second guitar solo.
Sweet Anne was my personal favorite on the whole album because it was the most unique. It definitely stood out from the rest of the songs. The tempo, the vocals, the accents amongst the bass and drums are timed perfectly. One thing is apparent; these guys are so united in their musicianship. Their structural musicality is apparent yet when listening to them they make their transitions from various sections so tastefully subtle. This is an album for those who enjoy the combination of simplicity and not so noticeable complexity. Country Home is remarkably laid back, yet continuously generates interest for anyone who enjoys a blend of power and serenity.
Buy the CD: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/oldshoe1
Listen to the title track here: