From now on, around this time of year, your friend and humble narrator will be a bit melancholy. Not because of the loss of summer, because Winter is the best season, but because of another kind of loss.
So far, it's only been a year since we lost you.
It's probably true that we have all lost someone to substances. If not someone in our immediate family or friends, there's a very good chance that you've been touched by this kind of loss.
As I write this, it was recently the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death. Many are still mourning the loss of Prince and countless others whom drugs and alcohol have claimed.
I'm no temperance movement advocate, but let's all try to remember when we're playing with fire. Even legal substances can be lethal. Perhaps even more so, because I can get a fifth of 190 proof liquor for a mere twenty dollars and not worry about being shot or mugged by the cashier at the local grocery store.
One last thing, then the soapbox will be stored again, just be careful and have someone watching your back.
Now, onto the review part of the review, Matt Butler has made this reviewer sad.
To hear this album at this time of year makes it doubly powerful. His songs are not those of loss, but of redemption.
Butler is one of the lucky ones.
He made it out of the downward spiral of abuse and it will hearten those who've not been touched, and depress those who have been touched by abuse.
Musically, this album is lush and full. He's listed as Americana, but it would seem that's a dog whistle term for old school country in this case.
Butler is joined by no fewer than 300 musicians to help turn inspiration into reality. There are pedal steel guitarists, violinists, pianists, and more.
True art is simply an expression of a feeling. Butler has chosen to express his descent into drugs and his long road out. Only one without a soul wouldn't be moved.