Jason Eady is one of those middle-aged musicians who already has an old soul. Or at least that’s the impression he conveys on this self-titled sixth album. He’s been around for awhile, a fact reflected in the weary narratives and the tattered observations he shares on several of its songs. Eady takes a weathered and worldly approach, one that relies on the usual Americana additives — softly strummed acoustic guitars, weeping pedal steel, brushed percussion — but it’s his mournful vocals, flush with reflection and remorse, that creates the most emphatic impression. Clearly, Eady has an experienced a lifetime of trials and tribulations, and these touching tales express those sobering sentiments through his unflinching observations
The most affecting thing about Eady is the way in which he conveys his tender tales, adding a spiritual sensibility to affirm the overall emotion. His recollection of an old army buddy in “Black Jesus” veers towards the metaphysical, but the lesson it conveys about the bonds of brotherhood creates a deep and lasting impression. The rugged autobiographical narratives, “Drive” and “Why I Left Atlanta,” reflect a degree of disillusionment and discontent that should hit home for anyone looking to find that special place where opportunity may await. Likewise, the soft sheen and comforting embrace of “Not Too Loud” expresses that sense of separation that enters mind and heart when a child grows up way too quickly, leaving the parent to yearn for the bonds that are forever broken. Indeed, it’s hard to hear it without welling up with tears.
Granted, Eades doesn’t try to break any formulas here. His earnest, down-home laments find him in familiar terrain, those places inhabited by any number of other Nashville troubadours that share observations about life, love, and longing. Yet, there’s something special in his melancholic motif and its abject authenticity. Clearly, one to watch, Eady has easily established his credence.