Justin Rutledge “The Early Widows” (Six Shooter Records 2010)

With a growing number of albums hitting Beat Surrender’s virtual doormat I’ve started to carry around with me more of the new music that gets sent my way, listening on the move is not always ideal so the music needs to quickly grab my attention, Justin Rutledge’s latest album The Early Widows did just that and after the first listen I was immediately reaching for the repeat button.

The Early Widows is Toronto native Rutledge’s fourth release, all on Six Shooter Records, for this album he was persuaded to plug in by producer Hawksley Workman, recorded live with two drummers, Gary Craig and Blake Manning, Rutledge is supported on the recording by Bazil Donovan on bass, Burke Carroll on pedal steel, David Baxter on guitar and Jesse Zubot on violin and gospel from The Faith Choral.

The album is an engaging collection of songs, great writing, strong melodies and the right mixture of tempos and styles to heighten the experience, Rutledge serves up classic alt-country on Heart of the River, bitter-sweet melancholy on the pedal steel adorned I Have Not Seen the Light and closes out the album with a delicate hushed acoustic number All Around This World, the album is a a quality collection from an artist on top of his game.

Justin Rutledge – The Heart Of A River

Buy at the Six Shooter store or Amazon UK

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