A near-perfect marriage of country and soul lends this record a classic sound and makes it a wonderful refreshing antidote
It’s entirely fitting that the debut full-length from Cale Tyson was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL at the legendary Fame Studios. The birthplace of records from legends such as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Duane Allman is a fitting setting for such a prodigious talent. With Tyson’s own blend of country soul he manages to add another vital recording to the studios’ formidable output.
Tyson is the genuine article and a welcome antidote to the new wave of country currently dominating the scene. He’s a Texan cowboy who is equally comfortable at getting rowdy, on the honky tonk-inspired Easy, or sharing his loneliness, on the frantic Railroad Blues, but what makes Careless Soul so special is the soulfulness coursing through its veins.
It’s there from the shimmering start of opening track Staying Kind and pervades the whole album. The keys and horns on Somebody Save Me are a delight, as are the backing ‘oo’s’ on Pain In My Heart. As you’d expect, the pedal steel also makes an appearance, in particular on Dark Dark, but it never dominates the sound. There’s a vintage movie feel to closing track Ain’t It Strange, fading out as the outlaw once again leaves town, but even then the strings aren’t your typical country sound.
Careless Soul is an album to wrap your arms around at night and hold close, it’s also there for you when you want to cut loose a little. Most importantly, it’s a reminder that the genre can still sound genuinely authentic and vital.
Verdict: Country soul for the pure of heart