“Pain Pills or Pews” – Luke Grimes (2023) [english]

I admit that I am always sceptical when there are these operations that, at first glance, seem like commercial operations, designed to exploit a famous name in vogue at that time.

Take one of the most successful series of the last 30 years of American television, take one of its most beautiful, charismatic and beloved characters and take him to a recording studio: boom!

Here comes a record that usually has a lower quality, but brings what interests the majors of Nashville: hard money.

So when I approached the music and the first single of Luke Grimes, the famous Kayce Dutton of the TV series Yellowstone, I had few expectations and many doubts.

I listened to No Horse To Ride and saw the beautiful video packaged through the Western AF website and the first doubts began to melt like a snowball in the Texas desert.

Acoustic guitar, intense voice and much to say, in a simple and not ready-made way.

He doesn’t act like a cowboy, he doesn’t use his character, he really is.

With the firepower that he now has behind his shoulders, he could have immediately looked for the bang and instead he stepped into the shoes of the real musician, the independent one who wants to arrive.

Many dates in rodeo, in smoky clubs, where to succeed the artist must get his hands dirty (and not only).

He could have by-passed the famous career, being known in the live circuits and instead here he is to realize his dream of country musician with a character and a passion that are not created by hand.

He’s not new to the music world: he had an alternative country band called Mitchell’s Folly and in 2008 they also released an album, but here we are on another level, so much so that his genuine and true talent have stirred the interest of the greatest producer of modern country music : Dave Cobb.

Luke often repeats in his interviews that he does not deserve to be here, that he did not think he could achieve his dream and we can say with certainty that he is wrong.

Of course, he was facilitated by being already famous maybe in being known and hired by the locals or being passed by the genre radio, but he has talent and this is undeniable and a country attitude that we can say very much resembles the approach of the great Zach Bryan.

The EP Pain Pills or Pews consists of 8 pieces of which only 2 are not autographs and that leave in the mouth a pleasant taste of talent and simplicity.

The record opens with the single that I have already mentioned and the song already appears as the perfect example of what you will find in these eight songs: acoustic and dusty guitar, an intense voice and many stories that seem made to be told in an episode of Yellowstone.

And not because they are fake, indeed if you know the series is the opposite: raw and true.

Hold On is a song by singer-songwriter Foy Vance and has a perfect arrangement oscillating between the classic country and a folk ballad.

The text speaks of the fear of being bound to another person and of making a commitment.

The voice of Grimes is the extra touch of these stories and the brilliant production of Cobb knows, of course he knows.

The next Ghost of Who We Are is a dark and poignant ballad that, as I told you, could be an episode of a series: a love story ended badly, but that leaves obvious traces that can not be forgotten.

Burn is always a love that leaves scars and pain, but with a less gloomy look and the unscrewed electric guitar give him a modern character.

The production is usually perfection and the interweaving between pedal-steel and rock taste is beautiful.

Playin’ on the Tracks is a beautiful piece, with a groove and with a beautiful pedal-steel solo and is the result of a collaboration with the legendary cousin of Dave Cobb, Brent Cobb, a wonderful arista I had just talked about here: https://www.trexroads.com/southern-star-brent-cobb-2023-english/.

One of the most beautiful and exciting pieces of the record.

The next is a love letter to his Ohio, Oh Ohio, but also a letter in which the artist complains that he has been forgotten from his land.

A beautiful country ballad, simple and direct that demonstrates the talent of this actor’s songwriter.

The EP ends with my favorite song: Ain’t Dead Yet.

In this song there is another collaboration with a singer-songwriter with genius talent and that is Aaron Raitiere (which I talked about here https://www.trexroads.com/single-wide-dreamer-aaron-raitiere-2022-english/) and the piece has a very rock appeal, despite being acoustic and the reason is soon explained: the song was born after the two discovered the common love for Nirvana and their MTV Unplugged.

Taking inspiration from that sound the two imagined a Kurt Cobain redneck from Kentucky who survives to 70 years and writes this song for his wife.

When you have the genius and talent everything becomes feasible and the result is a wonderful piece and that the production enriches with a perfect arrangement.

The best compliment I can give to Luke Grimes‘ debut EP is that, had I not known who it was, I would have thought it was one of the independent artists born from the live circuit and then I try to introduce you every week.

A true one that is starting from the bottom, from the invigorating apprenticeship that today seems almost a bad word to say to young people.

Skepticism has now turned into deep admiration for a great artist who, besides being one of the best actors of his generation, can say his in another field, without seeming fake or imposed thanks to his “being celebrities”.

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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