Bay Area-bred singer/songwriter Logan Ledger sets most of his songs in lightless or shadowy spaces: the bottom of the ocean, the abandoned cells of Alcatraz, dreamless bedrooms, desolate streets in the dead of night.
Produced by 13-time Grammy winner T Bone Burnett, the Nashville-based artist's self-titled debut matches his moody noir lyricism with a darkly toned take on country music, a sound that's stylistically wayward yet deeply grounded in classic songmanship. With Burnett playing guitar on more than half the tracks, the album finds Ledger backed by guitarist/pedal steel player Russ Pahl, guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Jay Bellerose (Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne), and bassist Dennis Crouch (Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton), threading in elements of acid rock and surf music and baroque '60s pop to forge a decidedly Californian sound.
But as the sonic antithesis of the sunshiney folk that Jimi Hendrix called "Western sky music," the album is nearly subterranean in its mystique, indelibly informed by what Ledger refers to as "that gloomy, nocturnal, San Francisco/Ocean Beach vibe."
'Vintage' is the only way to fairly catalog this self-titled release, with the influences of classic country, traditional pop, mod, and even a little early psychedelia appearing throughout these eleven tracks. If you're thinking country, think more of Jim Reeves or early George Jones, and less Waylon Jennings. Think The Byrds meet Nashville. This is a refined style of roots music, perhaps more suitable for the intimate theater than the honky tonk, but still and raw and real from the emotional experience... Logan Ledger has a special voice and the songwriting acumen to pair with it to be worth hearing and being heard. Hopefully that fate finds him and lifts his music out of obscurity to feed ears famished for true musical talent.
His croon is perfect for tackling fare that evokes Willie Nelson or The Byrds, but it also possesses a certain timelessness to it that makes it ideally suited for forays into a wide spectrum of sounds. The second thing these tracks do concerns music in general, because they highlight the way country and jangly folk-pop have seeped into seemingly dissimilar genres of music and have inspired the continued evolution of music.
'Starlight,' with its cosmic country meets Bakersfield vibe, straddles the line between Buck Owens and Dick Dale, while 'Imagining Raindrops' is a wistful, classic ballad full of sorrow and warbling pedal steel. Ledger sings both like a modern George Jones with an appreciation for Chris Isaak's stylish, brooding moods. It's the darkest shade of blue.
This blend of subtle rockabilly, countypolitan and American Songbook stylings makes Ledger's album a reminder that when great songs meet terrific singers, the result is timeless music with universal feelings that are never dated.
- Vinyl LP
- Invisible Blue
- I Don't Dream Anymore
- Nobody Knows
- (I'm Gonna Get Over This) Some Day
- Electric Fantasy
- Tell Me A Lie
- Skip A Rope
- San Francisco
- Imagining Raindrops