9 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s strange referring to Doug Paisley as an eponymous debut album. Long before he recorded it, the Canadian singer/songwriter played old-timey string-band tunes with a friend under the moniker Russian Literature. That duo also formed Stanley Brothers: A Loving Tribute before Paisley joined a trio called Live Country Music. Following that, he performed with a visual artist as Dark Hand & Lamplight, and then he joined Jack of the Woods and Miscellaneous & Unreleased. With all that musical experience under his belt, his 2009 self-titled long-player suggests that Paisley had to unlearn much of his dexterous bluegrass picking in order to craft something as simple as the opening “What About Us?”: an endearingly unsophisticated tune with spare accompaniment and vocal echo. “Broken in Two” weaves slightly more complex arrangements into the mix, with melodious guitar arpeggios and sublime female vocal harmonies backing Paisley’s throaty croons. Echoes of John Prine’s early country-folk swirl around “A Day Is Very Long” before “Take Me with You” closes like the '90s alt-country scene never ended.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s strange referring to Doug Paisley as an eponymous debut album. Long before he recorded it, the Canadian singer/songwriter played old-timey string-band tunes with a friend under the moniker Russian Literature. That duo also formed Stanley Brothers: A Loving Tribute before Paisley joined a trio called Live Country Music. Following that, he performed with a visual artist as Dark Hand & Lamplight, and then he joined Jack of the Woods and Miscellaneous & Unreleased. With all that musical experience under his belt, his 2009 self-titled long-player suggests that Paisley had to unlearn much of his dexterous bluegrass picking in order to craft something as simple as the opening “What About Us?”: an endearingly unsophisticated tune with spare accompaniment and vocal echo. “Broken in Two” weaves slightly more complex arrangements into the mix, with melodious guitar arpeggios and sublime female vocal harmonies backing Paisley’s throaty croons. Echoes of John Prine’s early country-folk swirl around “A Day Is Very Long” before “Take Me with You” closes like the '90s alt-country scene never ended.

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