JP Harris & The Tough Choices – Home is Where the Hurt is

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Jp Harris and the Tough Choices released their follow-up to 2012’s possibly perfect record, I’ll Keep Calling, with Home Is Where the Hurt Is.
It is the finest country album I’ve heard this year, hands down — no
bullshit, straight to the throngs of what made us all fall in love with
country music in the first place. In a constant internet battle between
real country versus pop country/bro country/(insert prefix here), it’s a
pleasure to just press play and enjoy yourself. This is the record that
can be the soundtrack to your game of dominoes with grandpa, without
him preaching to you about how country music died with Ernest Tubb — it
has phenomenal pedal steel guitar work and a super-tight band sans
gimmicks. Harris’ well-traveled lyrics, coupled with the tried-and-true
spirit of classic country shines brightly from start to finish. The only
downside is when the album actually ends.
Harris’ super-tramping
in his early teens was just the right schooling required to come off so
long-in-the-tooth in his music. It’s not the typical sound you’d expect
from him upon first glance. Don’t let beards and tattoos fool you; this
record holds a collection of ten of the purest country songs you’ll
hear all year. These songs are held tight and true, not worn as a badge
of honor, but more of an homage to the greats who’ve come before. Rather
than destroy the beauty of classic country music, Jp Harris and the
Tough Decisions are trouncing through the darkness, carrying their
proverbial torches — true preservation in the form of art.
Home Is Where the Hurt Is was
recorded at Ronnie Milsap’s old studio in Nashville, with a little help
from friends. The fantastic Nikki Lane handles some background vocals
and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Chance McCoy, adds some guitar work on both
lead and rythym, as well as some ideal fiddle fills. Production is
handled by guitarist Adam Meisterhans, sound engineer Justin Francis,
and Harris himself. The road-weary Tough Decisions round out the
musicianship on the record. Most of Harris’ touring band was the actual
band recorded for the album. Not a normal Nashville M.O., in a city
known for world class session musicians. Perhaps that’s what Ol’
Nashville has been missing in the secret recipe as of late — their
teeth already cut and their sound already worked out. Cow Island Music
has a gem in these boys for many years to come. I can’t wait to get my
shot to see them live, having just missed them a month back. They’re
currently galavanting through Texas and then moving on back east and
north. Check Harris’ website for tour dates and, by all means, get
yourself a copy of Home Is Where the Hurt Is.

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