Lew Card Brings Rambling Melodes To Forefront on ‘Follow Me Down’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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lewcard2Lew Card makes an impressive third outing with the invitingly titled Follow Me Down, an album immersed in tradition and a kind of backwoods sway. It’s a knowing approach, one that’s gleaned from the many years of lending his talents to various bands in his native Austin. It’s paid off in other ways as well, because those lending their lending their talents include  such notables as the legendary venerable piano player and veteran of hundreds of sessions Earle Poole Ball (The Byrds/Johnny Cash/Heybale), Doug Strahan (The Good Neighbors), and The Tijuana Trainwreck Horn Section (Uncle Lucius/Shinyribs).

Unlike his two earlier efforts, Card elevates the arrangements and creates a far more populated sound that brings his rambling melodies further to the fore.  The songs are all of a backwoods variety and are mostly good natured, be it the jaunty “Walkin’ Shoes Blues,” the easy and amiable “Baby Won’t Ya,” the sprightly “Condo Town Rag,” the supple but joyful “Paradise,” and the infectiously energized “Southern Railroad Blues.” Card, generally known as a mandolin player, forsakes that instrument entirely, trading it in for acoustic guitar and allowing his backing musicians to take on the bulk of the instrumental duties. The result is a happy mix of unassuming songs and a congenial vibe that permeates the album throughout.

“I wanna do my own thing” Card sings on “Do My Own Thing,” and that’s clearly evident in a set of songs that pay heed to Americana authenticity, but still manages to convey a sense of assurance and individuality.  While Card may not have been known outside his hometown environs before, Follow Me Down ought to be the effort that gives admirers reasons to trail him from hereon in.

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