Jan 25, 2013

Album Review: Chris King - 1983

Chris King - 1983
by Kelcy Salisbury

Country music is far from dead. The best of the genre has largely moved outside of the Nashville "box" but this isn't about any kind of contrived TX/OK vs Nashville battle. This is about the first really good country album of 2013 (a year with a lot of albums to look forward to.)

I've never seen Chris King play live. I didn't even hear of him until I started to see quite a bit of buzz surrounding his debut album, 1983 (I assume its a reference to his birth year, thanks for making me feel old buddy).

The whole album is a solid hunk of country goodness. The songwriting is strong throughout. My personal favorites are "Antler Ballroom" & "Man Enough" which features the inimitable vocal stylings of Jamie Wilson (best known for her work with The Trishas & on the Turnpike Troubadours' Goodbye Normal Street).

King sings in a distinctive tenor that strikes a sure-footed balance between youth and old-soul experience, making his voice the perfect vehicle for exploration of a life caught in that dichotomy. Though he's of the Texas/Red Dirt scene, so to speak, his presentation bears little resemblance to any stereotypical "sound" you expect when you read that classification. His music is catchy and accessible, yet layered and soulful.

There isn't a throwaway track on the album. 1983 truly is the first really good true country album of the admittedly young year & will no doubt be a contender when it comes time to make my 2013 "best of" list.

So here's a big "Thank You" to Chris King for making a true country album & here's to many years of continued success.

You can purchase 1983 at Lonestar Music, Amazon, CD Baby or iTunes.

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