Through His Name is the introductory track on Bayou Line, the new album from Rusty Reid. The song builds off traditional gospel and country and western style with a dynamic established between the vocals and guitars that will bring in listeners for the long haul. My Troubles Have Just Begun is the next track on Bayou Line and brings in a bit of sizzling guitar work to seat the track in the 1990s country rock genre. There’s a vibrancy that fans can pick up here that will appease fans of Chris Isaak, Travis Tritt, and John Michael Montgomery alike. The incorporation of just a hint of 1990s alternative music (think The Heights and The Rembrandts) alongside the Orbison-meets-Elvis sneer of Reid’s vocals makes this into a radio-ready single.
Look Out Louisiana holds special import to us as we’re situated just a few miles away from the Louisiana border. Rusty must feel the same way with this ode, which has the overall musical composition take up just a hint of cajun for the duration of the track. The Sunrise of Our Love is an effort that has Rusty wearing the mid-century Sun Studios singers on his sleeve. A velvety-smooth set of vocals is married to contemplative and slower guitars and drums. Everything feels period-perfect even as the production allows the song to shine in the current musical environment.
Careless speeds up things just a hint from The Sunrise of Our Love. There’s a bit more in the way of rock influence that bubbles through during this composition. I hear a bit of Elvis Costello here, but there’s even more of a 1960s pop influence that seems to be doing the heavy lifting here. Kudos has to be given out to the drums here, which are given ample highlight to shine with a bit of a complex dynamic in the middle of the single.
Oh Well is a track that comes from left field. While the vocals do adopt some of the same stylistic nuances heard prior on Bayou Line, there’s a much more thoughtful and prog-like instrumentation that can be heard here. Imagine if Dire Straits have a jam session with the Drive-By Truckers here. As always, the guitar work is immaculate. Words Don’t Come Easy and More Than St. John’s do well in slowing down the overall tempo of the album. While the former has a bit of a Simon and Garfunkle jam, the latter is more wistful and builds upon the standards of Pablo Cruise and the Beach Boys.
Home One More Time comes in with endearing guitar work and on-point vocals. Tremendous emotions are heard in each and every line that Reid lays down here; The Masterpiece of You may change up the overall topic of the track but keeps things fresh with a blending of engrossing vocals and a deceptively insightful instrumental dynamic between the guitars, bass, and drums.
What is most surprising to us is that late-album tracks like Another Night With You, That’s When the Fall Began, and Through His Name are able to continue to add to the overall story that Reid has established with the release’s introduction. Where many artists are content to rest on their laurels on what used to be called the B-side (during the heydey of vinyl), Rusty keeps fans firmly on the edges of their seats. Our Love’s With You has a masterful usage of tempo; Rusty starts things off slowly and gradually bring a bit more speed into the equation as the composition continues. This is something that continues during Bayou Line’s penultimate song, Corner of My Mind. Corner of My Mind has a bit of the wizened stylings of late-discography Warren Zevon, blending smart instrumentation with a long-term view of things. Riding On is the perfect way to end an album, as Rusty touches upon some of the twists and turns that preceded the single while giving fans some semblance of where he will go in the months and years to come.
Bayou Line: Songs From Houston is a tremendous entry by Rusty Reid, and is a perfect place to start for listeners that wish to dig into the performer’s intriguing story. If you’ve had a chance to experience Bayou Line (or Reid generally), drop a line and let us know what you think. You can purchase physical copies of Rusty Reid’s CDs as well as digital copies of his songs from his main website.
Top Tracks: My Troubles Have Just Begun, Words Don’t Come Easy, That’s When the Fall Began