By: Jeffrey Cook
An exploration into “Gospel Outlaw,” the latest extended play release from Jim Huddleston, feels like a horseback-ride through the rural landscape of traditional country and Americana music. The collection of songs treads the tracks of a forgotten era, one where life was sustainably simple and unquestionably grounded. Each song on the EP illustrates the depth of Huddleston’s storytelling abilities, transporting listeners into the immersive world of his musical imagination.
“Little Hope Baptist Church,” one of the opening songs, sets a robust tone for the entire project. As powerful as the title suggests, the song delivers mellow country melodies strung together creatively with Huddleston’s unique vocal twang. The listener experiences a small town’s essence where your heartbeat synchronizes with the rhythm of the local church. The imagery invoked by the lyrics is rich and evocative, embedding listeners into Huddleston’s vivid storytelling tapestry.
The EP navigates a rounded journey through songs like “God’s the Only Law (In This Here Town).” This track fortifies the prevalent Western vibes running through “Gospel Outlaw.”. Sounding like a timeless country artist, Huddleston paints a town where spiritual beliefs influence moral choices. The story unfolds reverently, and the authenticity of Huddleston’s vocals further immerses the listener into the tales of this unique outlawish town.
Tracks such as “Heaven on my Mind” and “I’ll Be Gone” appear more personal, offering a glimpse into Huddleston’s own experiences. These songs are deeply rooted in the Americana tradition and highlight his adeptness as a versatile storyteller. Also, the instrumentation elegantly laced with a hint of Americana flair perfectly complements the emotionally-charged lyrics.
The music that fills “Gospel Outlaw” maintains an honest, straightforward and relaxed analogue throughout. The production has intentionally been kept minimalistic, providing enough headspace for individual instruments and Huddleston’s vocals to resonate freely. This approach amplifies the EP’s overall authenticity, spontaneously establishing an intimate bond between the artist and his listeners. Additionally, the stripped-down arrangements provide the music with a timeless quality.
Closing the EP is “Say Hello (to a New Uplifted Heart).” This song serves as the epitome of the entire album, intertwining the outlaw concept with gospel nuances. It not only bids adieu to the EP but also introduces the listeners to the next chapter in Jim Huddleston’s musical journey.
In evaluating the musical tapestry woven by Jim Huddleston in “Gospel Outlaw,” one can firmly say it is a veritable masterstroke of traditional country storytelling. It provides a window into a realm where authenticity, genuineness, and simplicity are paramount. The album’s all-encompassing ambiance showcases Huddleston’s gifted ability to transport listeners back in time. With its stripped-back production and timeless soundscape, “Gospel Outlaw” indeed stands as a compelling testament to the unmatchable power of heartfelt Americana.
For more on Huddleston’s music, visit his official website at www.jimhuddlestonmusic.com.