Uncle Jesse sings with such soul on the tender “Terrapin Creek” reveling in a rebellious bit of southern rock Americana. Volume is not a must it is a given for they go hard into that good night, ensuring that they put all of their heart into it. Lyrics embrace a unique, dreamy-eyed poetry, one that celebrates the natural world in a way that gives it a sense of grace. All of them play off each other’s talents too making it a celebratory communal experience. Vocals bring it all home for they have a warm, welcoming presence to them full of so much life.
A whole musical history is referenced throughout the album. Some elements of it go for a careful quality, one that touches upon the humble narratives of Leadbelly. Going much more into the modern era, their ability to draw from Wilco’s classic “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” further adds to its poignancy. They hold nothing back, going hard into that sound with a garage rock fevered dream at times. Pieces of groups like Thee Oh Sees, Harlem, and more enter into the equation as well. By blowing the sound way out they harness a force of nature aspect, one not to be feared but to look upon with sheer awe.
“If I Didn’t Have You” sets the tone up with confidence, as the song radiates with love as a single moment is explored in full. They roll on forward on the western twang of “Beautiful Tragedy” where the keyboard swells and slide guitar add to the sense of reflectiveness. On “California” they let things mellow out a bit as a kindness resides, one that celebrates friendship and pining for another. A wonderful buildup of energy gives the driving rhythms of “Home” a sense of journey. With a bit of stripped-down reverence is the lumbering drum hits of “Smoking in the Rain”. Playful to its core is the flexibility of “Fight and Fuss”.
Romance done perfectly defines the graceful glide of “Every Time I’m With You” featuring some restrained guitar work proving to be the perfect counterpoint to the genteel verses. So much power runs through the intensely felt “Save Me”. Kicking it up a bit is the giddy sound of “Time” which races through with a clear-eyed focus. Easily the highlight of the album, the beating core of it all, runs from the highly personal narrative of “Terrapin Creek” where they take on a bit of Kurt Wagner’s clever wordplay. Pace is the trick on the deliberate ever-expanding scope of “Dragging Me Down”. Bringing it all to a close is the finale of “Talk It to the River”.
“Terrapin Creek” shows Uncle Jesse taking the traditional sound of country rock and adding their own raw grit and flair to the proceedings.