Ben Nichols - Last Pale Light

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Artist: Ben Nichols
Release: The Last Pale Light In The West
Discogs: 2678545
Released: 2011-01-11
Label: Sabot Productions, Liberty & Lament / Sabot Productions
Catalog#: ACT027, none / ACT027
Format: FLAC / Lossless / Log (100%) / Cue / CD
Country: US
Style: Folk, World, & Country, Country

1. The Last Pale Light In The West (2:49)
2. The Kid (5:33)
3. Davy Brown (3:21)
4. Chambers (4:46)
5. Tobin (3:06)
6. Toadvine (4:31)
7. The Judge (2:58)

The sparse, dark, and aggressive alt-country, bluegrass, and southern rock ballads of The Last Pale Light in the West are guttural poems set to knee slapping fireside guitar riffs. The 7-song CD is a short, but impressive, solo debut for Lucero lead singer Ben Nichols. It is reminiscent of Bruce SpringsteenΓÇÖs 1982 classic Nebraska. A stark recording, the only instruments on The Last Pale Light in the West are guitars, an accordion, a piano, and NicholΓÇÖs gruff, engaging voice.
The recording is a soft piece with grim themes. The guitars lead everything, while the pianos and accordions haunt the stories Nichols tells. All the songs are written by Nichols and based on the 1985 Cormac McCarthy novel Blood Meridian: or the Evening Redness in the West. McCarthyΓÇÖs Meridian is considered by many to be a modern America classic of literature, a gritty western novel about a teenage runaway ΓÇ£the kid,ΓÇ¥ who joins a gang of scalp hunters who massacre Indians on the U.S.-Mexico border in the 1800s. The story is based on actual events and has been praised for itΓÇÖs nightmarish beauty and magnificent language. As Nichols translates the novel into brief songs he displays his gift for crafting a story and delivering intricate emotions and settings through brief phrases.
Only one song on The Last Pale Light in the West is longer than five minutes, and the closing song is an instrumental tune. Nichols begins the album with the title song, which sets the theme for the album, telling the story of a remorseless character who is bound to go west. The second song is ΓÇ£The KidΓÇ¥ ΓÇô a rolling biography of The Kid ΓÇô a tune that tells of a forgotten child who meets up with the devil.
The lyrics throughout the album work in many of the characters and places from Blood Meridian, and Nichols powerfully sorrowful voice shines through crisply ΓÇö thanks to engineering by Doug Easley ΓÇö overtop the soft, or possibly barren and dead with a harsh blood-tinged wind blowing, musical landscape that Nichols and his two partners (Rick Steff on accordian and piano, and Todd Beene on guitar) produce.		
Ben Nichols - Last Pale Light/01 - The Last Pale Light In The West.flac 16.539 MB
Ben Nichols - Last Pale Light/02 - The Kid.flac 35.707 MB
Ben Nichols - Last Pale Light/03 - Davy Brown.flac 21.128 MB
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