Jon Pardi Brings Back Traditional Country With His New Album California Sunrise
“When I first got to Nashville town they called me in and sat me down/ And told me all about the ins and outs of writing songs/ Say write about the things you know about / If there’s anything that you don’t know about then just stick around and you’ll find out before too long”
The opening lines to Pardi’s sophomore album ‘California Sunrise’ lay the foundations for an album that shows daring and a passion for what he sees as country music. His highly anticipated album follows on from the successful debut record ‘Write You A Song’ which encapsulates the traditional country song and places it in the centre of a constantly evolving genre.
The album’s twelve tracks, which include his latest single “Head Over Boots”, draw direct links from some of country music’s greatest forbearers; you can hear the honky tonk rhythms of Dwight Yoakam, the neotraditional sound from George Strait and the rockabilly vibes of Marty Stuart.
The narrative behind each song is particularly important to Pardi; its one of the elements that makes for a steadfast traditional country record. The narrative in “Out Of Style” tells the tale of a country singer finding their way in Nashville and identifying that staying true to their country roots is the best way to send across your story. With an amazing pedal steel guitar in the record, “Out Of Style” sounds like it could fit into the honky tonk period of the 1980’s.
When putting a love song into the album, Pardi added a bit of sauce and heat into the mix. “Cowboy Hat” is a playful record with an entrancing fiddle included in the instrumentation. As the couple return from a night out the heat turns up as they dress down till the woman is in no more than a cowboy hat; a staple feature to any country boy and certainly one that Pardi is known for. “Night Shift” also takes a cheeky nod to working hard in the day and enjoying what he calls the ‘night shift’ even more.
“Dirt On My Boots” has an old western rhythm with a foot stomping bass, an exquisite fiddle section and jaw dropping electric guitar. A true stand out record on the album, “Dirt On My Boots” gets Pardi out on the dance floor with his woman after a hard days work. Pardi admits he is not the best dancer, but one thing is clear from this album; the focus is on having a good time.
The traditional sound of California Sunrise can be clearly heard in tracks such as “Lucky Tonight” with an old rocking style guitar riff and lyrics that once again draws inspiration from a bar and finding romance. “She Ain’t In It” has a Strait quality to it that really puts heartache on the line. The sorrowful melody and Pardi’s harmonious tone marry perfectly together as he sings from the heart about a guy desperate to forget his ex.
California Sunrise accomplishes what Pardi wanted to create in an album; he focuses on the old and brings it to life with a great band, incredible vocals and heap of honky-tonk rhythms.
California Sunrise Track Listing
- Out Of Style
- Cowboy Hat
- Head Over Boots
- Night Shift
- Can't Turn You Down
- Dirt On My Boots
- She Ain't In It
- All Time High
- Heartache On The Dance Floor
- Lucky Tonight
- California Sunrise