Year of the Album — #047
Lonesome City Travelers – “Lonesome City Travelers” (2011, Independent)
Though the album opens on an unassuming note with the quiet retrospection of “Goodbye (San Francisco Bay),” there’s a great deal of promise hinted at on this self-titled debut from Orlando-based Lonesome City Travelers. “The River” kicks things up a notch with more than a hint of Son Volt-inspired 90s alternative country and lead singer Chris Metts has clearly spent the time to hone his songwriting chops. These songs have more than a hint of pop flavor, with hooks that you’ll find yourself singing unexpectedly.
The rest of the album shows that the band can be just as capable of playing it straight as well. There’s a great deal of variety here, and “Please Be There” is perhaps the strongest independent country track I’ve heard all year, and that’s saying a hell of a lot. These guys are working the road the hard way, and they don’t have a big promotional budget behind them. But be certain about one thing – they’re ready to be out there playing with the big boys. Lonesome City Travelers is one of the best alt-country albums of the year, and it deserves a great deal more attention than it’s been getting. If there’s one band you’ll want to be able to say you heard here first, this is the one.
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You can preview the album in its entirety on the official Lonesome City Travelers website. The band is also going to be appearing all over the state of Florida through September. If you’re lucky enough to be down there, check ’em out!