Eric Brace & Last Train Home – Six Songs – Red Beet Records RBRCD 011, 24:24 (EP) *****:
It’s been a long three years. That’s the time since the last efforts from Last Train Home, one of the best Americana bands working today. One of my favorite CDs from 2007 was their “Last Good Kiss,” a melancholy and bittersweet collection of songs. “Six Songs” is an EP that is meant to appease the fans of this great band until their next full-length CD is out, which is hopefully soon.
“Six Songs” is a fascinating mix of the familiar and the new. Eric Brace’s voice is the same as always, an enjoyable mix of life-worn patina and raw power that stands as one of the best voices in the business. I never get tired of listening to him. Also back is the intelligent and energetic arrangements that shows off each instrument, from guitars and drums to sax and trumpet. New is the choice of songs. Instead of Brace’s original tunes, we have a selection of tunes from other folks that go from swing to rock without missing a beat. Also new is the deliciously optimistic tone of the songs. This recording focuses on the upbeat and even the humorous. Even potentially melancholy songs like “Autumn Leaves” and “What Now My Love” are delivered with zest. I caught myself laughing in delight at “Big Fish;” a fisherman’s anthem if ever there was one.
All in all, any Last Train Home is better than nearly anything else out there and this will do just fine until that next CD. It may be short, being an EP, but it is mighty. Fine, that is. Highly recommended.
1. Always Raining On My Street
2. Soul Parking
3. My Baby Just Cares For Me
4. Et Maintenant / What Now My Love
5. Big Fish
6. Autumn Leaves
– Hermon Joyner