‘Hope You’re Happy Now’ by Grant Langston – well-written songs that cut deep(April 13, 2015)
Americana describes much, often a mix of folk, blues and country, roots brushing shoulders with innovation, heritage and contemporary - make your choice, it’s all in there somewhere. One of the hardest aspects of being part of the mix is for artists to identify and differentiate themselves, and ensure that each successive album ‘breaks through’. ‘Hope You’re Happy Now’ from Grant Langston does that by departing from the more ‘traditional’ Langston approach. There’s a feeling of lost and lonely sadness pervading this album, the songs tell tales of realised loss, despondent reflection and cautionary advice. They stand testimony to the melancholy edge that touches us all, fundamentally part of the ‘human condition’ well-written songs cut deep and that’s what Langston offers here.
Whether you’re listening to the measured wistful deliberations of ‘Drive’ and the brutal honesty of ‘Breaking Hearts’ or the punch of ‘Born To Ride’ and the profound examination of ‘The Trigger’, these are lyrics that make their presence felt. When you add Langston’s laid back, somewhat biting and faintly mournful voice, their raw messages are laid bare for all to share … listen to ‘Don’t You Dare’ and it’s all there in this fine album.
Playing on ‘Hope You’re Happy Now’ is Grant Langston (vocal, electric and acoustic guitar, organ, piano) joined on selected tracks by Tonky Horkins (drums and percussion)John Ramey (bass) Josh Fleeger (bass) Darice Bailey (piano, organ, vocals, glockenspiel) Rich McCulley (guitar) Craig Ferguson (pedal steel) Johnny Hawthorn (electric guitar, lap steel) Chris Lawrence (pedal steel) and Jennifer Gibbons (backing vocal). Website: www.grantlangston.com
Reviewer: Tom Franks