Title - 'Country Supper'
Artist - Robert Connely Farr
For those not in the know, casting a hypnotic spell rooted in the bedrock of Mississippi’s Delta and Hill Country blues, Robert Connely Farr’s new 16-song Country Supper transcends the borders of genres by transforming them into his own distinctive, deeply rooted Americana style.
Following his heralded 2019 album Dirty South Blues, which earned comparisons to John Prine and Gregg Allman, the just-released collection is a display of sonic and songwriting shamanism that thrives on driving, laconic grooves in support of the casual command of Farr’s dust-dappled voice and the sting of his grumbling, rock-of-ages guitar.
1. 'Cypress Grove'
2. 'Girl in the Holler'
4. 'Water's Rising'
5. 'Cadillac Problems'
6. 'Train Train'
7. 'I Ain't Dying'
8. 'Can't Be Satisfied'
9. 'All Good'
10. 'Must've Been the Devil'
11. 'Bad Bad Feeling'
12. 'If It Was up to Me'
13. 'Gimme Yo Money'
15. 'Bad Whiskey'
16. 'I Know I Been Changed'
Farr's fourth album opens with 'Cypress Grove,' a slow blues burn tale of searching for life’s balance and backs that up with the twangin' roots rocker 'Girl in the Holler,' the reverberatingly, low slung 'Catfish,' and then the thoughtful 'Water's Rising' and the loud and proud 'Cadillac Problems.'
The slow groove of 'Train Train' is a stand out gem here, and is followed seamlessly by the Southern crawl drawl duo of 'I Ain't Dying' and 'Can't Be Satisfied,' and then we get the foot-tappin' testament to the often-hard edges of life in the rural Delta, 'All Good' and the soulful testifying found within 'Must've Been the Devil.'
Up next is another of my own personal favorites, the blues growl duo of 'Bad Bad Feeling' and 'If It Was up to Me,' which are backed by the Southern yearning of 'Gimme Yo Money,' the veritably upbeat 'Lately,' with the album rounding out on the ballad 'Bad Whiskey,' closing on the throaty decadence of 'I Know I Been Changed.'
Of course, Country Supper is more than a blues album. 'Girl in the Holler' is among the set’s classic roots rockers, which capture the bravado of Farr’s live performances.
And 'If It Was up to Me' echoes both outlaw country and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with its heavy, loping pulse, reflective mesh of guitars, and Farr’s naked-soul singing.
That vocal candor, warm and burnished, echoes through Country Supper’s two autobiographical cornerstones: the country heartbreaker 'Bad Whiskey' — where fourth bandmember Jon Wood lends keyboard and steel guitar — and 'I Ain’t Dyin’ The former provides a harrowingly genuine perspective on alcoholism from the inside, full of regret, loss and defiance.
And 'I Ain’t Dyin’' has practically become an anthem for Farr, whose struggles with alcohol have been replaced in recent years by a battle with cancer. Both have, at times, put the chill of the grave on his collar.
“In the three-month period when we were recording Country Supper, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to survive,” Farr attests. “I had quit drinking, but I had just had an emergency operation due to cancer."
"At the same time, my band and I had been traveling to Mississippi to play, and the music I heard there, what I was learning from Jimmy and R.L., was echoing in my head, creeping into my songwriting and playing, even offering me a different perspective on life."
"I had also just read a biography of Charley Patton, and the scenes it painted of the parties he used to play, called country suppers, were so inspiring … and sometimes so crazy and violent. It reminded me of that Deep South atmosphere. My home was showing up in my music."
"All of that created this emotional and creative lightning, and we immersed ourselves in it.”
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