Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly at all), Lon Eldridge’s June release Long Gone is everything I expected from the wonderfully dressed and mustachioed man. The whole album is ten tracks of good old-fashioned blues straight out of Tennessee. The majority of Long Gone showcases Eldridge’s voice and guitar picking, with some light shoe-tapping to tempo in the background.
It’s weirdly comfortable, as if you’re sitting next to Eldridge on a sunny afternoon, perhaps with a cuppa joe or tea if that’s your thing, listening to him play a couple of tunes he’s been dying to show you. The whole album is an intimate occasion, while thriving on its playfulness. And how could you, the listener, not smile as Eldridge whips out the kazoo like it’s just another Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga?
Long Gone really strips down music to its bare bones. It’s a man and his guitar, and he’s brought his attitude along with him for the ride. The duet between a man and guitar is really something to admire, to be downright mesmerized by, and Eldridge’s unique lighthearted approach is a nice breather from all the would-be breakup poets who picked up an acoustic guitar at some point along the way and figured their poems sounded better with accompaniment.
One track on the album—“Cozinhando Com Gas”—is a standout track for its guest musicians. Dalton Chapman and Skip Frontz Jr. of The 9th Street Stompers join Eldridge in the grooviest track on the album. Skip’s bass fills out the bottom end you didn’t realize you missed, and Dalton’s guitar work is enchanting to say the least.
Lon Eldridge will undoubtedly be playing about town sometime soon, and I can only hope to see him playing around a local coffee house, because his music goes best with a bit of sunlight and coffee.
The Great Commission
Cleveland, TN is constantly contributing great bands to the local Chattanooga scene. A lot of the time, it’s easy to breeze over a newer band from the outskirts, but when you find that one up-and-coming group, it’s pretty damn exciting. There are a few bands that come to mind when I think of the Cleveland area, but I’m here to talk about one in particular—Mother Nurture.
I saw them play at JJ’s Bohemia a long while back. Solid show, tight performance, high energy. Now I’ve found out they released a 5-track album back in January. The Great Commission is a great, high-quality freshman release for Mother Nurture. They sure have come a long way since I saw them play at JJ’s.
The album is full-bodied with reverbed and delayed guitars and a constant backbeat from the drummer and bassist. The songs are focused on lyrics and structure so that I could easily imagine these songs enjoying a lot of radio play. At the same time, Mother Nurture is a rock band, and I’ll definitely kick up a sweat in the crowd during their live set. The Great Commission is a fantastic interplay between laid back and moody, up front and aggressive. And what you end up with are five well-written songs with great production on them.
Listening to The Great Commission, I immediately think of 2004 Breaking Benjamin—the crunch, the catchiness—layered with progressive influences from bands like Tool and The Dear Hunter. The combination of structured catchiness and progressive undertone really keeps the whole album feeling fresh as morning.
Pick up The Great Commission for free on Mother Nurture’s Bandcamp. The band will be playing JJ’s Bohemia on Tuesday, July 28. I highly recommend checking the album out in preparation for singing along at the show.