Review: Josh T Pearson

Josh T Pearson, The Musician, 23.11.2011

Having unfortunately missed Josh T Pearson at this summer’s Green Man Festival due to an unfortunate scheduling clash with Scot/Canadian super-group folksters The Burns Unit, I was most relieved to see the aforementioned pop up on the Musician’s listing page for November.

I will be brutally honest with you, Josh T Pearson’s first solo foray, The Last of the Country Gentlemen, is an intimidating listen. Seven gothic folk tracks that touch despair, betrayal and loss (they’re just the lighter subjects) which traverse well over an hour. Stung by the break up of his much beloved band Live To Experience, this album has been a long time in the process.  Still I ‘braved’ the ridiculously mild late autumn night and gutsied my way to the remote city venue, The Musician.

Josh Pearson entered the stage, after a quick foray to the loo, with what could be the most unkept beard signed to music. Half of his time spent on said stage was used to tell truly awful yet oddly funny jokes. A shrewd use of light hearted one-liners about musicians and acquaintances spoken in his deep Texan drawl that broke the chasm like silences left after each song reached it’s dark conclusion. Yet the songs were akin more to stories. Sung and strummed in such a way that one is drawn into a narrative to witness and feel first hand the anguish and foreboding that has brought the aforementioned to track. When each one (he only played four) comes to its finale you are left sensing you’ve been abandoned by an old friend.

On my journey home I couldn’t recall any of the evening’s anecdotes but the sentiments formed from JTP’s mesmerising storytelling will not fall away as easy. I hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next record…

By Jamie Traynor