Country music is a genre that, some would say, is based on past successes. Johnny Cash will always have a place in my heart and it’s great to see Willie Nelson still kicking it, but there’s a new ‘outlaw’ of country out there. His name? Austin Lucas. The Indiana-born singer/songwriter is back with his fourth record and, whilst his previous work has been a wholly acoustic affair, A New Home In The Old World sees Austin bringing something new and exciting to the table.
I’ve always loved the raw, stripped down nature of Austin’s music, so it really came as a surprise when I heard that electric guitar come in on ‘Thunder Rail’. I was slightly taken aback, because it was anything but out of place. It was vastly different to anything I’d heard him do before, but it had all the qualities that keep me listening to his music again and again. With this in mind, I was expecting radical changes and an album unlike anything we’d heard Austin do before. Whilst there’s quite a lot different about A New Home In The Old World, it’s still distinctly an Austin Lucas record. That’s what I love about it.
If you’re one of those folks who doesn’t take well to change, fear not, A New Home In The Old World still has some acoustic-only tracks to appease you. ‘Nevada County Lines’ and ‘Keys’ are tracks that immediately spring to mind. It’s great to see Austin delve a little into politics, as he talks about the harshness of war on ‘Keys’. The line “a man just ain’t a main until he’s dealt some death” will be with you for a while after listening. Nevada County Lines’ is my favorite track on the album. Anyone who can’t see how beautiful a this song is really needs to reevaluate their life. Austin’s soft singing (and that of, his sister, Chloe), combined with the slightest bit of guitar and the hum of a pedal steel makes for the most perfect of love songs. The same can be said for the album’s closer. ‘Somewhere A Light Shines’ marks a perfect end for the record and the introduction of a horn section makes for a nice surprise.
It’s tracks like that which made me an Austin Lucas fan. They stick with you long after you’ve listened and he’s always so ‘on point’. Not only that, but his ability to turn a phrase is such, that he could put David Lee Roth to shame and the amount of emotion poured into each song is incredible. It’s clear Austin has a passion for everything he’s singing about. This is something that’s missing from a lot of new music, and something which he’s managed to achieve on four full length records.
If you’re already an Austin Lucas fan who hasn’t bought this yet, I’m wondering why. It’s arguably his best work to date and deserves a place in anyone’s music collection. If you’re yet to experience his music yet, you might want to start here. This is definitely his most accessible record to date, but that’s no bad thing. Even if you’re not a country music fan, I implore you to check this out. I’m going to pour myself another whiskey and give it another spin.