Album: Eddie West
Basics: Phoenix country/bluegrass/folk musician Eddie West bills himself as trying to market himself to Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Denver and Fort Collins. West also recorded his eponymous album in Los Angeles, so it's safe to say that the dude is all over the place. Eddie West, reflects a little bit of West's worldliness (or Americanliness, if you will), but the album has a very local feeling -- one that evokes spending time on the farm. Let me tell you something, have spent some time on a family farm, myself -- there ain't nothing wrong with that.
Best Song: Despite being wary of its odd title, "Fix the Tractor" is a delightfully simple, blissful song about working on a peaceful farm. West's music is very, very light and calming and evokes a sunny, quiet day tending to the fences and whatnot while out on the farm. West doesn't try to overdo what his music is about -- he keeps it simple and lets you know just what it is he is singing about. Sometimes we don't need our musicians to overcomplicate things -- some of the best music comes from being in a serene, simple place in life. There's no better place to feel at ease than on the farm, let me tell you that.
Worst Song: Described as West's "Katrina song" (ugh), "Love" is about an alligator farm along the Gulf Coast in Christmas, Florida. My trepidation about labeling something a "Katrina song" comes from my passion and respect for New Orleans -- also from the fact that "Love" just isn't that well thought-out or complete of a song. I did, in fact, cringe when the line "I was wrestling all those alligators with love" comes along. West's heart is in the right place on this one, but "Love" is just a bit too hokey and twangy to be taken seriously.
Suggestions: Don't play to the stereotypical country aspect of the music -- while "Fix the Tractor" is a pretty good song, "Hit the Road" and "Inlaw Joe" are pretty corny and typically country. The lyrical content on the album doesn't make me cringe and the music arrangement is pretty stellar, but some of the song ideas can be thought out a little more carefully.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032
Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook