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Paul Sikes - Out Of The Mud (2014)
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Paul Sikes - Out Of The Mud (2014)

28-08-2014, 17:39
Music | Blues | Country | Rock

Paul Sikes - Out Of The Mud (2014)

Artist: Paul Sikes
Title Of Album: Out Of The Mud
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Blues/Rock/Country/Americana
Label: 7-Layer Productions
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 48:40
Total Size: 113 Mb

1. There Goes My Heart (4:48)
2. Out Of The Mud (3:35)
3. Jackhammer (3:11)
4. Break (3:40)
5. On A Clear Day (3:51)
6. Soak You Up (3:21)
7. Anywhere But Now (4:07)
8. Cut Off (3:42)
9. Earth (3:23)
10. Let This Barn Tear Down Itself (3:50)
11. I'm Gonna Leave You (3:20)
12. The Apology (3:13)
13. Georgia On My Mind (4:34)

Out of the Mud, Paul Sikes’ follow up to 2012’s The Craft, comes from a place that mirrors his own life, like good music should. A preacher’s kid from Clarksville TN- home of old time fiddlers conventions that must have influenced his mandolin, banjo, dobro and guitar pickin’- is just a few miles up the Cumberland River from Nashville. It’s that combination of soulful church music, good old country, and the city’s claim “as the gateway to the new south” that covers this record like the hot summer asphalt that covers I-24. This offering has 13 tracks with 11 Sikes penned originals, the late Tim Johnson’s “The Apology” and ends on the beautiful standard, “Georgia on My Mind”. Much of his work offers soulful tracks evoking feelings that even country boys can recognize.

There are several tracks like “There Goes My Heart” and “Out of the Mud” that are what I would call American Idol country, that have a bit of a vocal “showoffness” that may not be necessary when the song is good (although I recognize the huge success of those shows). I let a couple of friends listen to the first few songs with me on a brief car trip, and I think they hit it on the head when I was told “It is good, just not very easy to sing along with.” And that is something a good country song does have the ability to do, even my 2 and 4 year olds can’t help but passionately bellow out Paint Me a Birmingham or Taylor Swift’s Mean.

“There Goes My Heart” is the first song on the album, and is very soulful. It has the familiar theme of heartbreak and love that got away set to the tune of a Muscle Shoals or Motown classic. With this Paul shows his ability to write a good song, unfortunately it probably should not be the first track on a country album. “Out of the Mud” has fun lyrics and phrasing that serves as a warning that he is going to make a “mighty sound”.

“Anywhere But Now” is a nice break on the record, offering a different mood and sound than the first six songs, making you lean in and listen to what he has to say. Tracks 8 and 9- “Cut Off” and “Earth” are fun tracks that when listening you will swear you have heard them on the radio. Sikes shows us here that he definitely does have the ability to write songs that you will be singing along to in the car or screaming along to when they crank it up around the bonfire or watering hole.

I think the two gems on this album are the afore mentioned “Cut Off” and the thoughtful “Let This Barn Tear Down Itself.” Asking to Let this Barn Tear Down Itself, Sikes takes you through your often romanticized memories and those things that shaped you into the person you are, begging reflection on family, experiences, and the rusty nails that pieced us together- all while recognizing the inevitable progress and change that is bound to replace what once stood. “Let this Barn Tear Down Itself” is a song that you will be playing over and over, often followed by a call back home to your momma.

Out of The Mud shows that Paul is a talented young artist with the ability to write good songs and perform, which he has been crafting in subtle and impressive rooms like The Bluebird Café and The Rutledge. While I believe there are some better things to come from Sikes, I recommend getting your hands on this album and getting these songs in your summer playlist rotation. You will have fun, feel some soul, and do a little emotional reminiscing of your own.

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