Album review: Josh T. Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen

A heavyweight record from a cult heavyweight, be prepared for an enveloping - and ultimately rewarding - experience if you enter Pearson’s world.

Texan cult legend Pearson finally releases this solo debut after around a decade in the wilderness.

Unsurprisingly for those already in his thrall, the force behind John Peel favourites Lift to Experience returns with a sprawling, intense seven-track album - four stretching beyond 10 minutes.

He is part singer, part storyteller, and uses the art to let the fissures in his heart leak regret, grief, frustration and fire.

For example, tender violin solemnly echoes and amplifies the strain and sorrow in the seven-minute Woman I’ve Raised Hell.

Opener Thou Art Loosed witnesses acoustic guitar relentlessly plucked into a thrum over tumbling, half-sung lines. Elsewhere his lyrics are swollen and heavy with meaning.

“I’m in love with an amazing woman, she just is not my wife, but will I tell my pastor, friends, my family or said blushing bride?” he agonises in the deceptively warm 13-minute folk anti-hymn that is Honeymoon Is Great, I Wish You Were Her.

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As enveloping as it is invigorating; reserve this album for drowning your deepest sorrows.

3 stars