Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I will start off by talking about the opening number, Hard Times. It includes two very prophetic lines: “Was I running away or was I chasing a dream”? And “Don’t let the hard times break you down, they’re going to make you a better man”. How true. Certainly thought provoking lyrics. Moving away is always a big undertaking and I think the normal question we would ask is are we going forward or backward? Chasing a dream is certainly moving forward and running away is taking a step back. Handsome And The Humbles are definitely moving forward. Have Mercy is a beautiful release. Intelligent song writing with great singing and instrument playing make this one a good one.
The other prophetic line in the opening number Hard Times is “Don’t let the hard times break you down, they’re going to make you a better man.” It is sort of a take on what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It is very true and very well put. I think there is more to learn in hard times than there is in good times. That is if we are open to learn it. Listen to Hard Times because the song is cheaper than a life coach and the words are sung beautifully.
Handsome And The Humbles hail from around Knoxville, Tennessee and they write and sing about what they see around them. Pristine and breathtaking beauty and the hardscrabble people that live there. These songs are about poverty, hard work, and hard times. But they are also about hope and learning lessons with each situation. I go back to the line in the opening song: “Don’t let the hard times break you down, they’re going to make you a better man”. I would say that theme carries through the entire album.
Glad To Know You (Track 7) is a bit of a rocker with some nice noisy and moving guitar parts. This song is about leaving and moving on. Glad To Know you is about friendship or love ending but with the hope of new beginnings. Hints of sadness tempered with hopes and dreams. Bittersweet with the sweet overtaking the bitter. I do consider this a song of hope even though it is about loss as well.
So, you can listen and buy this fine album on their Bandcamp site here. You are welcome.