After some 47 years, Cary Hudson is above all a dyed-in the wool Mississippi man. He grew up in the small town of Sumrall. His songs show a true southern authenticity that many Americana artists can only dream about. The bluesy nature of the songs show something that few guitarists in rock, blues or country can match. And when he combines the three, Hudson sounds the best.
On his newest record, Hudson mixes a singer/songwriter album and a country/rock record. I’ll take the country-rocker Hudson any day of the week. The last three songs that close out the record show his roots and guitar prowess in spades. “Storyville” is a walking country tune with Hudson’s bluesy deep voice pulling through.
The next tune “Broke Down and Busted” is a true country-rocker. It has electric guitar, a whining harp and Hudson’s emotive vocals. It also has a sing-a-long chorus reminiscent of Tom Petty even.
The real gem of the record is the last track. “Hobo’s Lullaby” gives the singer/songwriter a bluesy acoustic sound. I can picture Hudson bringing his guitar to life in this song. The slide makes it sing just like his voice. Solos ratchet up the emotion.
Now, the rest of the record. Hudson’s leadoff track, “Long Lost Friend” is a bit too cheesy. Country crooners struggle to pull off songs like this one. “Rockin’ Blues” certainly rocks, but it lacks any real depth. It has a Blonde on Blonde aesthetic without a matching lyrical depth.
Hudson showed his songwriting chops on this record yet again . . . as long as you start at track 7. These tracks are some of his best in years, but the record is uneven. Hudson’s grizzled blues and country hit a unique note in music today. Hopefully we’ll see more of them next time around.
About the author: Jeff is a teacher in the Boston area. When not buried correcting papers, Jeff can be found plucking various stringed instruments and listening to all types of americana music.