When I first was introduced to Joe’s work, about eight months ago, I remember saying to myself “It doesn’t get any better than this.” I was wrong! It got better! I spent most of yesterday, and all of today listening to his new EP, “Jack to Jesus”. I have only one complaint about this 5-track EP. And, that is – it’s a 5-track EP. It isn’t enough. When it’s over, you have to play it again, because one thing Joe does better than most of our seasoned artists is this … He always leaves you wanting more!
There is not a song on this entire EP that isn’t radio-ready–NOW. It’s enough country to keep the older country fans (like me) happy; and, it’s enough of today’s country sound that it should be not only what our younger listeners what, but exactly what our program directors all across the nation want to give their listeners.
Did you ever listen to an EP that has a ‘little bit of everything’? Well, that’s what you are going to get with this one. There is a lot of country ballad, a little country/southern rock, and a tiny touch of country/rap. Enough of that to keep our fans of The Lacs and Colt Ford happy, but not so much that it made me dislike the song.
“Whiskey Nights” sits in the lead-off position. What a great start to what ends up being one of the best debut country releases to come along in a years! ‘Some nights are whiskey nights, you’d rather drink yourself blind than see the mess you’ve made…..some days are for getting it right, but some nights are whiskey nights.’ Memorable lyrics set to a slow-to mid tempo melody – you can’t help but fall in love with this song.
The second song you are going to hear is “Tap a Little Tail Light”. Whenever radio wants to start playing this one – I think there is an audience out there just waiting to listen to it. This is so much ‘today’, as far as our country music goes. You listen, you are immediately put in mind of some of our top male artists. And, Joe manages to do that without losing his own individuality.
Joe Lasher Jr. is a name all country music fans are going to want to remember. He is an up and coming singer/songwriter who has undoubtedly found his place in the world of country music. He’s right where he belongs. “Somebody Up There Must Like Me” is the third song on the new EP. The story might remind you a little bit of Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars,” just the idea that ‘someone had a hand in it, long before we knew’. But, the lyrics and the song Joe sings are definitely not the old Tracy Byrd song. They are all new, all uniquely Joe, and again – all today’s country. ‘Somebody up there must like me, to lead me to you’. Enough said about this one! It’s more of a ballad than the others. I can just picture people wanting to get out on the dance floor when he starts this one.
Now, while it would be impossible for me to pick a favorite out of the five songs here – I have a least favorite. That would be the fourth song, “Kickin’ Ass and Takin’ Names”. Now, it’s not the title, or or even the lyrics that turned me off a little. It was that small amount of rap at the opening of the song; and that more rockish sound that this one has. This is definitely a ‘pull this one out at the party’ song. And, I don’t doubt he will get one request after the next for this one at his live shows. I like it. I didn’t love it. But, I can definitely see a crowd dancing to it, singing with it, and just kickin’ up their heels to one heck of a good time. I know I have some readers who are going to run straight to track 4 when they get their copy of this CD. And, they are going to play this one more than once.
The last song you are going to hear is “Jack to Jesus”. This is what country music is all about, folks. This is a story. This one, more than the others, takes me back to MY era of country music. Back when it was really all about the story, and in many cases – all about the message. This song is about what happens ‘on the road from Jack to Jesus’. Wow, it’s a sad story. And yet, it’s a story that says “someone out there needs to hear this, so pay attention!’.
To learn more about Joe Lasher Jr., please visit his website, joelasherjr.com. He has links there to his other social media as well, so be sure to check out his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter.
Music Charts Magazine® Country Album Review by Donna Rea of CountrysChatter.com
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