Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Andrew Delaney hails from Dallas, Texas. He has the ability to craft songs that are mini stories and he is not afraid to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly. This release is Delaney’s sixth full length album. He has shared stages with the likes of Hayes Carll, Corb Lund, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. His live band, Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On, features Trevor Pulver on lead guitar and lap steel; Justin Whitehead on bass; and Jeff Munn on drums.
On The Escape Artist, Andrew writes and sings about family, heroes, human frailty, and famous historic events. Amelia Earhart (Track 4) is a haunting ballad about the female pilot who disappeared and was never heard of or seen again. Delaney’s wailing voice and the eerie ambient guitars add to the rich textures of this song:
The pilot is tired
And the craft’s showin’ wear
‘neath that movie star smile were you gaspin’ for air?
You ain’t been seen in a while
But you’re out there somewhere
I just know
Amelia Earhart’s still flyin’
Though the radio’s long dead
And the search party’s leavin’ the island
And Saint Jude is shakin’ his head
Lovesick, Homesick, Dopesick Blues (Track 7) is a cautionary tale about over indulgence. It is a sad song but the music seems to give this tragic story a happy lift to it. This song is steeped in blues and classic country with the blues riffs and the lap steel. The bass is also quite prominent on this tune and adds a little bit of that dark smoky room feeling to it:
I got the lovesick, homesick, dopesick blues
And I’m all outta money, I don’t know what to do
I got nowhere to go
And no one to hold
And a monkey on my back that won’t leave me alone
Afraid Of Falling (Track 8) is a straight ahead country ballad and it is beautiful. Delaney sings in a style where the pain of the situation comes through in his singing loud and clear. His voice is also pretty strong and perfect for his words. Another song on this album that is full of the sad lap steel parts that make you want to cry.
I don’t want to cry at all because I am pretty happy I discovered this gem called Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On. Great music that is extremely well written and belongs on every aficionado’s shelf and in a heavy rotation on any playing device of choice.