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Curious if anyone has heard this fairly new record by singer/songwriter Matthew Houck and a great backing band.

 

I've been listening to it a lot. Definitely one of my faves of the year.

 

If "Americana" can ever be used to describe a cd, "Here's To Taking it Easy" qualifies...the sounds on it remind me of Neil Young, Willie Nelson, The Jayhawks and Wilco.

 

The opener "It's Hard To Be Humble" has a light, laid-back, breezy shuffle to it. Songs like "We'll Be Here Soon" and "Tell Me Baby Have Had Enough" are very country and very beautiful. The country rocker "I Don't Care If There's Cursing" sounds like a track off Being There. "Mermaid Parade" is probably the standout and "Los Angeles" sounds like an early Neil Young track. Lap Steel guitar is all over the record. Houck's lyrics are about a relationship getting torn apart due to his busy touring schedule.

 

 

Nothing revolutionary going on here, just a very pleasant-sounding record that I put in my cd player and don't ever want to press "stop" or "skip".

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  • 3 months later...

Awesome. Thanks for the heads up jakobnicholas. I look forward to giving this album a spin.

I have this record and really like it. As mentioned above it has elements of a lot of "americana" albums and artists. The two tracks which jump out are 'Mermaid Parade' and the stunning 'Los Angeles'.

 

The later is so obviously indebted to Neil Young (circa 'Zuma') that, if it wasn't so good, you would accuse Matthew Houck of plagerism. In fact the instrumental passages remind me of 'Words' from 'Harvest'. However, as its the best song I've heard this year I'll let him off. If you're gonna rip off someone may as well be Neil.

 

Have either of you heard any of his other records. On the basis of this album I need me some more. Great stuff.

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I have all of it. Pride, To Willie and Aw Come, Aw Wry are all essential, three of the best albums I've heard in the past decade. The album and ep that preceded these have their moments as well.

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  • 2 years later...

I know I'm late on this but having just heard this:

 

I'm now going back and checking out Here's to Taking It Easy & Pride and am getting hooked on it. 

I'm kicking myself that I didn't go see them when they played my town a couple years ago.

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New record is streaming on NPR:

 

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/03/172979166/first-listen-phosphorescent-muchacho?ps=mh_fl

 

Also, is it just me, or does anyone else here a big nod to John Prine's "All the Best" on "Song for Zula"?

 

What I heard reminded me of "The Rose." Are you sure that's not what you're thinking of? That sounded NOTHING like All the Best (one of my favorite John Prine songs).

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I think he or she means in the lyrics both songs share "..some say love..but I know love..." I love Prine's The Missing Years, too. Unlonely is so killer, that whole album is probably Howie Epstein's crowning achievement, so many tasty players with just the right touch bringing magic to Prine's great songs.

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