Joe Purdy’s “Canyon Joe” was one of the things that kept me going a couple years back, chugging down the sad song trail. Knowing that good, great, wonderful music can come from a somber melody and a song about being lonesome and blue. Something in his delivery is so relaxed and comfortable that is has a visceral effect on me when I listen. I kind of drift into a trance when I listen to Purdy’s music. A really good kind of a trance…his new record “Eagle Rock Fire” is no different. I’m still in that dreamlike state listening and it still feels pretty damn good.
‘That Diamond Ring’ is about as much of a swinger as you get on this collection. A little two step with some pedal steel singing lonesome over a throbbing bass, acoustic guitar and Purdy’s lonesome howl. It’s a nice breakup of the more low and down kind of vibe that seems to permeate the songwriter’s work.
Tracks like ‘Wildflower’ and “I Am Sorry You’re Blue” are faithful to the songs I am used to from Joe. They have a sort of slow bounce, a rhythm that hits on the 1 and 2, hitting the bass notes in time and makes you sway a bit. And the songwriting, as always, is top notch. He has some lines that just hit you hard and straight to the heart, and for that I am always grateful.
Take me or leave me / I don’t care which
Warm, sparse, and simple. That is what defines this record. They took all the computers out of the room for this recording, went straight to tape, and used only their ears and their hearts to record and it shows. Purdy, once again, proves that a great song will sing through a simple and honest recording. Acoustic guitars, bass, and some pedal steel for good measure is all that’s really needed to highlight Joe’s songs and his voice. No fancy flourishes or decorations, just sincere and truthful songs that are superb.
This new work is true to Joe’s previous work and his signature sound is certainly present, but it is a collection of great new songs, recorded to tape, and in a sonic environment that really lets the man’s words shine as they should. A beautiful representation of the songwriter and establishing that even after 13 studio albums, he is not slowing down and is a force to be reckoned with.