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Grant Langston Dusts Off The Bakersfield Sound (‘Working Until I Die’)

Grant_CD
Grant Langston – Working Until I Die
*** (out of 4 stars)
Label: MSG Records

Ready for some new country music and a good time? Meet Grant Langston and his new album, Working Until I Die. It’s a blend of traditional and modern country music, with an emphasis on the brazen feel-good attitude inherent in all of their instruments, whether vocal or Telecaster.

Working Until I Die is a collection of honky tonk songs that evoke the spirit of some timeless Western singers (Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson) and a few of the recent greats (Dwight Yoakam, Randy Travis, George Strait, and even Willie again). I said “the spirit,” not the voices. There’s a fiesty, witty, independent streak to Grant Langston that ensures he is nobody’s musical clone. And that’s a good thing. When it comes to modern-day self-obsessed country music, finding a new guy in town who isn’t afraid to put it all in perspective by being just plain entertaining goes a long way.

If the album falls short anywhere, it’s in the timid approach to the vocal arrangements and the occasionally pedestrian phrasing. I’m guessing the band rocks in live appearances, and that their first-rate musicianship more than makes up for it. The instrumentation on the entire album is stellar. Check out “Sweet Little Girl” to get a taste of a simple song that Langston could be singing in the desert as easily as a bayou or on a borderline beach. This is a band that listens to each other as well as they play together. If you love good country music, Grant Langston is well worth a listen.

Essential Downloads: “Trouble Knows,” “Coming For You,” “Little Less Fun,” “Everyone Loves Me When I Am Drunk.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

Here’s a bonus music video for you to enjoy (until the legal departments for all the film studios who own the movie clips used in the video send a “cease and desist” letter to Grant Langston, anyway)…

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Greg Victor

Greg Victor (Parcbench Culture Editor) covers the world for Parcbench... from the Biennale in Venice, to Centre Court in Wimbledon, to Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, Tennessee. He is based in New York City and frequently on the road.

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About Greg Victor

Greg Victor (Parcbench Culture Editor) covers the world for Parcbench... from the Biennale in Venice, to Centre Court in Wimbledon, to Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, Tennessee. He is based in New York City and frequently on the road.
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