Album Review | Weight of The World – Western Centuries
Album | Weight of The World
Artists | Western Centuries
Label | Free Dirt Records
The debut album by Western Centuries is a top notch collection of twelve strong tracks delivered with an assurance and style that gives a hint to their pedigree. Weight of the World features three lead vocalists – Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and Jim Miller – each of whom contributes compositions. It’s an unusual approach, a bit like a modern-day country incarnation of The Beatles, but such is their their collaborative energy they make it cohesive, and the tracks lead on from each other effortlessly. The trio contribute harmonies to one others songs, and also share duties on electric guitar, acoustic guitar and drums. They are joined by Rusty Blake on pedal steel, Dan Lowinger on bass and special guest Rosie Newton on fiddle.
Morrison, Lawton & Miller have worked together before in the precursor to Western Centuries known as Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer which produced one album, ‘The Flower of Muscle Shoals’, in 2014; before that Morrison had been best known for his duo with Eli West. Lawton is a bluegrass stalwart who started out on the punk scene; and Miller is a founding member of jam band Donna The Buffalo. I think the word is ‘diverse’.
The album was produced by Bill Reynolds (of Band of Horses) and recorded in his Nashville studio. The understated production gives the fine songwriting, vocals and musicianship of the ensemble chance to shine. There is no doubt that this is a Country record, but to stamp one ‘genre description’ on it would be to do it a disservice, there are veins of Folk-Rock, Rhythm & Blues and Rock n’ Roll running through it too.
Several of the songs are ‘dancers’, but the lyrics to all of them are multi-layered commentaries on love, loss, booze often delivered with a dry wit. It’s a superb album destined for big success.
Western Centuries released Weight of the World via Free Dirt Records on June 3rd, 2016, and it will be ‘Album of The Week’ on the Honky Tonk Show, June 9th.
Find out more at Western Centuries’ official site.