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Jason Eady

AM Country Heaven – 2012 (Underground Sound)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Jason Eady

In country music, it's common for artists to start off with a traditional bent and gradually veer toward a pop sound. Texas-based Jason Eady has taken a different path. He's always had an independent streak of blues mixed with Red Dirt, but nobody would mistake the Mississippi native's sound for George Jones or Merle Haggard.

Until now.

His fourth studio release, "AM Country Heaven," in which the title track definitely reflects the other 11 songs. Eady's among his most Haggard-esque on Old Guitar and Me, and he enlists the talents of veteran country traditionalist Patty Loveless on a sweet, bluegrass-tinged duet, Man on a Mountain.

Forget About the Truth and Paid My Dues are pure honky-tonk waltzes, and Lying to Myself features some of the best steel guitar solos(courtesy of Lloyd Maines) this side of Hank Williams Sr. Sober on The Weekends has that bluesy feel that fans have come to expect from Eady, and Longer Walk In the Rain is a song where you can feel the emotion and oozing out of it.

Like many of the artists who's songs were showcased on AM country stations, Eady closes the Kevin Welch-produced album with a gospel song, Water Into Wine, finding yet another way to tip his hat to the traditional sound he's hoping to keep alive.