“Tales of the Ole West & The Other Libations to Please the Palate” – C.J. Garton (2022) [english]

What does it mean to be an independent musician in the United States? If I had to answer that question, I would certainly have to mention the art of C.J. Garton. One who plays what he loves to play, sings what he loves to sing, who loves his fans and who creates something not to please the charts or to submit to some “superior” order of some label but because he believes and does it with sincerity and passion, two things that lovers of these artists claim. C.J. is a native of Oklahoma and grew up working on his father’s ranch, early on in life, so from an early age he understood the values of family and being independent but never abandoned his love of music. His is a solid career, made of many concerts in Nashville and beyond, has behind a beautiful album titled only C.J. Garton of 2018 and an EP of 2020, The Gun but now is more than 10 years that is appreciated in the country circuits for his baritone voice and intense for his music inspired by the great outlaw of the past. I met Garton as always, attending groups of independent country fans and I was impressed by the intensity of his voice and his western-sounding music. I started following him on social media and discovering his pieces and then I became aware of this project. A double album first produced only on vinyl (and now I’ll talk about this work of art) and then released in digital and streaming, a long work but that deserves to be among the most beautiful and successful releases of this 2022, even if the album came to life in 2021. The vinyl I told you : I am a collector and if I can buy the records of these artists on LP and this has had a long gestation but the result is a masterpiece. Double and colored, a dark red disk and a turquoise-green but that if left in the sun becomes phosphorescent, gorgeous! In addition, the cover is a lenticular print that changes image if you change the angle of view, passing from the skeleton of a cowboy to that of a Native American, in practice the two souls that coexist in C.J.Garton. The titles of the 20 pieces that make up this monumental work, are all translated into the Cherokee alphabet : an immense work of research that brings a unique result. (inside there is also the alphabet itself that allows the translation of titles with the exact pronunciation). If you think that the disc is self-produced, you will have the exact stature of this artist who without the support of a major and only with the sweat of hard work, creates a record that will remain in time. This long preamble, however, must not distract attention from a great record of outlaw country, a musical time machine that transports us to the sound of the greats of the past that C.J. Garton was inspired : Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck to name a few. There is a personal touch in his music and it is his voice and his acoustic guitar, a feeling between melancholy and gothic folk blues that make him an absolutely original artist, does not invent anything but the recipe of the great is declined without making only a copy for the sake of itself. Devil, who opens the record, sounds like a country acoustic that Garton’s voice guides wisely and to which the violin of Joe Spivey gives that feeling western but the choirs and the electric wrap it with a cloak, as I said before, almost gothic. I Went Crazy is a beautiful melancholic country song, that violin that lashes the air and that voice that seems almost broken by emotion, there are no charts here but only real life and strong feelings. Drinking Man is the admission of how addictions can destroy everything that is beautiful in life, it is such a classic piece that it looks just like a sessions with some great from the past. Melancholy and damn well written. The tribute to the past comes in the form of the cover of Ain’t No Good Chain Gang, a song that Johnny Cash brought to success in 1978 and that Garton makes his own in an absolutely fantastic way, almost as he wrote it. It certainly doesn’t look bad, indeed it is one of the most successful version of this beautiful song. The voice of C.J. somehow recalls that of the Man In Black par excellence, that depth and that melancholy feeling, both marked by a youth of hard work. The most autobiographical of the lot and also, in my opinion, the most beautiful is If Daddy Could See. A poignant piece supported by the violin and the mandolin, a heartfelt thanks to his father who made him the man he is today and who would be proud of his son and his success as a musician and as a human being. Almost to give a twist to the melancholy that had fallen on the speakers, Garton gives us a wild song honky tonk, Highway We Call Home, a celebration of life on the immense American highways. Beautiful the work of the electric guitar and the voice of C.J. shows all its versatility not disfiguring even in songs with less pathos and more speed. Good Gone is an outlaw country song to the core, violin and guitars, strong feelings and that voice that is like an instrument so intense and recognizable. The guitar solo at the end is a jewel. Beautiful. Bitch at the Bottom is a melancholic piece driven by Spivey’s violin and Garton’s acoustics, an intense piece that tells us about the hardness of being an independent artist stuck at the base of the scale that is success. Fantastic arrangement of the spectral Skeleton Crew, a song that could very well be in a beautiful western film and to which the baritone voice of Garton, gives an additional aura of pathos and drama. This artist is talented and deserves to be at the top of the scale of success. Let’s stay in the stories of the old west and this time with Hurricane Chief, we enter the story of a legendary Cherokee leader with a song supported by rhythm and guitar, pedal-steel and an almost blues feeling. A song that is detached from the melancholic feeling of the record but that does not clash indeed gives a multifaceted sound that is only a merit of a great artist and a great band behind. Fool Hearted Lover is another song of which the great Waylon Jennings would have been proud and that in Texas they will love as they were, basically Oklahoma is not so far. Time travel is so pleasant that you wish it wasn’t the end of the record. There is still time for the beautiful violin that introduces Longtime Traveller, a piece with a Celtic flavor, to which the lashing guitars and the singing of a female voice, gives further depth. The work ends with an intense and successful dedication to all his musical heroes, who are no longer among us, All My Heroes Have Halos, a chilling country ballad. If there is a country music paradise, surely George Jones and Merle Haggard, will be smiling listening to this beautiful piece. A record that is a small jewel, as I like to define it both for the eyes and for the ears. If you love the music of the people, that country that is inspired by feelings and hard life or if you love the stories and taste of the Old West, then this double is for you and C.J. Garton deserves all your attention and you will love the gorgeous cover. If you have savings and want to make a safe and valuable investment, then buy the vinyl version and enjoy a work of art that will brighten your homes like a picture, if you also love western movies, then don’t think about it for a second.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/c-j-garton-tales-of-the-ole-west-other-libations-to-please-the-palate-2022-by-trex-roads/ )

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.

Verified by MonsterInsights