Joey Allcorn - "State of Heartbreak" (Blue Yodel Records)
The traditional country stalwart returns with a 6 track extended play that’s released on digital and very limited edition CD. It is as good as anything he has previously released on his three full length albums and the standout track is his own Lefty Was Right but nothing here is less that convincing.
Alongside his own songs he includes a cover of there Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein penned Faron Young covered Your Time’s Coming and a version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night? also know as In The Pines, a song that has traditional origins but is often attributed to Lead Belly. It was also recorded by Nirvana on MTV Unplugged and is here given a more contemporary arrangement with some raucous guitar that is slightly at odds with the remaining tracks but still fits the overall mood of the release.
Allcorn’s vocals, as one would expect, have echoes of ol’ Hank but that’s his vocal style and it perfectly suits these recordings. He has again gather some notable players around him for the sessions. Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Eddy Dunlap on steel guitar, UK born guitarist Sol Philcox-LittleField (a player who has added his skill to Miranda Lambert) but here shows his understanding of the genre’s roots in the main. The rhythm section of Dave Roe and Shawn McWilliams are solid and dependable - all are players who understand where this music has come from and where it can, equally, go to.
There are those who won’t get the retro sounding honky-tonk infused direction that has been taken here but that is to deny a musical genre heritage that needs to survive against the unappealing cross over pop and (un)hip-hop that pervades the mainstream content on country radio. You won’t hear these song played there but you should seek them out for a listen. Allcorn is his own man and is producing the music he feels most comfortable with and this release just makes you want to hear his next instalment, but for now I have been playing State Of Heartbreak on repeat - because it is worthy of that.
Review by Stephen Rapid
Here is an interview Joey did recently with Lonesome Highway out of the UK. Check it out HERE.