For those of us who enjoy honking and tonking our way through an album then Jeremy Pinnell's second release obliges, big style.
There is a telling and simple splendour to Ties of Blood and Affection as it ripples and shines with unrelenting, effortless country goodness. The nine songs follow a well-trodden musical path but successfully retain a sense of brightness, fun and well being throughout.
The are welcome lashings of pedal steel that work wonders for the songs of northern Kentuckian, Pinnell, who is confidently warm and welcoming, while making the 32-minutes plus worth of recordings here all very interesting, authentic and revelatory as he sweeps through his well told stories about working life, family commitments and observations on women.
Opener, Ballad of 1892 sizzles to a magic bass and Tony Joe White-type swampiness with Pinnell in great voice in his "house of hookers and wine." Take The Wheel, next up, could be bashed out at any roadhouse you'd care to imagine adorned as it is with shuffling drums and pedal steel you don't want to stop.
The glowing honky tonk feel to Different Kind Of Love is terrific: "She says she don't like diamonds/ that's my kind of woman." This is Pinnell's glowing tribute to the woman he loves and is a song that really deserves to be heard by loads of folks. I Don't Believe is a pacey romper with shafting pedal steel giving it a lucid appeal.
Closing track, The Way We See Heaven, put me in mind of Sturgill Simpson - no bad thing - and encapsulates how adept Pinnell is at handling this genre with affection and firmness, and how he is able to stamp, respectfully, his undoubted charm all over it.
This is an album of vintage sounds offering contemporary muscle, enhanced by Pinnell's unassuming delivery and a superb band.
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