Vegas Motel – Mark Joseph (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Country music and the more general Americana sound has always been at their most potent when talking about the trials and tribulations, the hopes and dreams of the working man and women. And whilst there is a lot more going on here, sonically speaking, than you will find within those two genres, Vegas Motel not only discusses the lives of such people but does it brilliantly.

Written at a difficult time (2020’s lockdowns and isolations) and dwelling on stories and scenes from Mark Joseph‘s own life, this is an album whose lyrics are full of personal but relatable nostalgia and musicality that blends freshness and familiarity.

Nate’s Garage reminds me of the early hillbilly highway vibe of Steve Earle, I Love You Till I Die is a gorgeous slice of bluesy country-pop and Early Riser is a delicate folky, fiddle-infused instrumental. Perhaps saving the best ’till last, My Friend, Stella Blue is a simple and lightly adorned flutter of acoustic guitars and heartfelt vocals, the perfect way to put the album to bed.

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