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Kalyn Beasley’s debut solo album Northerner chronicles a songwriter’s return to his roots. Beasley sings with a cowboy’s heart and a poet’s precision as he unravels the thread of his artistic journey, following it from the hill country of Texas back home to the rural high plains of northwest Wyoming.
From songs bound to become soundtracks for small towns everywhere, like the album’s opening track, “Long Way to Anywhere” to ballads of self discovery that will beat a familiar echo in every listener’s heart, as in “ I Don’t Know,” Beasley has created an album that speaks straight to the struggle for self realization in a changing generation.
With spot-on description and allusion to the West of old and new, Beasley invites his listeners inside his head and out onto the open road, winding through endless fields of “Bluebonnets,” across thousands of miles of lonely interstate (“I Miss You”), all the way up to the top of the Absaroka mountains (“Beartooth”). Whether the mood strikes for a rollicking jam bursting with howling harmonica (“Jackson Street”), a waltz under the big, bright “Montana Moon,” or a reminder of why one fell in love in the “First Place,” the folky, authentic, Western hillbilly folk collection that is Northerner, offers itself up to meet the occasion.
by Virginina Schmidt