Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Album of the Week: CAROLINACANA by Possum Jenkins

If you like your Country a little on the bluesy side, then pack your bags and take a trip to CAROLINACANA. Possum Jenkins serves up a heaping helping of 14 tracks worth of Piedmont blues perfectly seasoned with tradtional country, gospel, and even country-rock spiciness. They hit a mid-tempo blues groove that's perfectly punctuated by Brent Buckner's soulful harmonica (the best blues harp this side of Blues Traveller.) This CD makes me want to kick off my shoes, step out on the deck with a pitcher of my favorite summertime beverage and just play this disc over and over as I sit back, forget about everything else and just watch the clouds roll by.
Like my bandmates in Family Reunion, Possum Jenkins shares songwriting and vocal duties, creating a mixture of perspectives and vocal diversity. The result is a richly textured collection of songs that caputre the lows and highs of life's grand parade. From the regrets of "Cheatin Song" and "Been There Before" to the cautious optimism of "Mile Past Broke" and "All Is Not Lost" and ultimately to the jubilation of "Better Light" and "Know The Way," Possum Jenkins ponders life's twists and turns with honesty, integrity, and always a hopeful view toward tomorrow. As in "All Is Not Lost," they sing, "We all leave here with nothing, no matter what you bought. As long as there's something in your heart right now, then all is not lost." Indeed all the songs on CAROLINACANA are infused with a spiritual awareness. "A Toast" reminds us that, "You make your own luck and your own Hell." And in the bluesy, gospel song "Know The Way" they sing, "And when I die don't worry cause the worryin's all been done. I'll take care of that part and leave the rest up for the living." Their music reminds us that there will be a better day after this day and a better life after this life. So if you can't find me for the next few days, it's not becuase I'm dead - I'm just playin' Possum!

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