Jason Eady & Courtney Patton All Ages Free Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Mon., May 25, 12 p.m. 2015

Bro-country radio is fixated on party-hearty good times, filled with booze, hot babes, and cheery anthemic hooks. Jason Eady harks back to a country tradition focused on broken hearts, broken spirits, and bleary eyes—the desperate flip side to all that sunny, desperate glee. On “Lonesome, Down and Out” his gentle vocal twang digs deep into wry loss—the kind experienced by all the Hanks and Leftys and Willies before him—as he sings, “I started runnin’ after the stayin’ failed to work / Got used to livin’ a little heart broke and hurt.” That song is from Daylight & Dark (Old Guitar), the nearly unheralded but nonetheless best country album of 2014. Eady’s made fine music before, but this, his second collaboration with producer Kevin Welch, is his quiet masterpiece. It’s not all solemn and down-tempo, but even a honky-tonk stepper such as “We Might Just Miss Each Other” (which features a great assist from vocalist Courtney Patton) is drenched in loss: “Here I sit outside with that old feeling / And a fear of seeing you and what I’d find.” There isn’t a joyful reconciliation; the hope never wins out over the fear. The track, about adult longing and adult grief, is an ode to country music’s past—and remains too painful for country radio. Patton joins Eady for these two sets. —Noah Berlatsky

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