I love discovering amazing talent that is right in my backyard.
Spotify suggested Pony Bradshaw’s music and I quickly discovered that he’s in Chatsworth, GA. He’s not far from where I grew up, not far from my grandparents in Chattanooga, and not far from where I sit right now in Marietta.
So, I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way: this record is incredible. I am blown away.
Calico Jim fits into a niche genre that I love. I did not even know that the genre has a name until recently. Southern Gothic.
It’s country but not really. It’s singer-songwriter but not only. It’s Americana but darker.
The songs and stories are those of a mature songwriter full of emotion, depth, and character. They could have been written by Jason Isbell or Johnny Cash or Townes Van Zant. This album is a masterclass in songwriting from a guy you probably have never heard of.
Calico Jim feels sad. It is not a crying sadness. It is a depressed bleakness. It’s that air of sadness you sense when you’re in a small town. It is the melancholy that hangs in the air of Lindale, GA and Middletown, OH. I know it when I feel it and this album captures it.
Somehow the music embodies that weighty dullness. Even the upbeat songs feel sedated.
Calico Jim isn’t a fun dance and sing along record. But it is a comfort record.
This might be my favorite type of music. But, I’ve got issues.
My favorite track: Bodark