Posted by: will | September 20, 2007

Music Review – Josh Small

Josh Small “Tall” (Suburban Home)

I first discovered Josh Small as the guitar-picking accompaniment to Tim Barry‘s great Rivanna Junction album and tour. Try as he might to stay in the background, Small’s guitar playing quickly brought him to the forefront. Tall not only showcases Small’s guitar picking, but his impressive songwriting as well.

While perhaps not an experienced singer, Small’s natural, unpolished delivery fits these ragged songs perfectly. Small is obviously a fine musician but he also knows how to construct a song. Much like Tim Barry’s Rivanna Junction, the instrumental additions of piano, banjo, slide guitar and mandolin add a whole lot of weight to Small’s rustic tunes. Even horns appear on the fantastic “Moses.” On tracks like “Indiana” there is a noticeable pop underbelly to Small’s raw folk approach. It is a trait that Small would be well served to explore more in the future. At over 50 minutes, Tall does play a little long. However, Small’s talent is able to carry the load most of the time.

Oddly, Suburban Home is becoming quite the alt-country label with releases from Drag The River, Tim Barry, Ghost Buffalo and now Josh Small. The label that was once entrenched in pop-punk has truly reinvented itself. While Tall may take a little more time to become acquainted with, it is well worth the effort. So, do yourself a favor and let Josh Small and his guitar take you on a little trip down a dusty road.

RIYL: Ryan Adams, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Neil Young

Listen: Josh Small – Move Your Hips (mp3)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: