It's been a big year for Madison's Americana scene, considering the fine albums released by Whitney Mann, Blake Thomas, Emmettville, Jeremiah Nelson and others. Josh Harty's new release keeps the fire burning.
On this seven-song EP, Harty tells little stories about big personal struggles. He starts off pondering sin and redemption ("Whiskey and Morphine"). Then he looks to wayfaring in his quest for emotional escape ("Nowhere"). By the third song, he's wondering if suicide could be a "Sweet Solution."
The instrumentation is diverse. Trevor Krieger plays fiddle and mandolin. Chris Cunningham adds accordion. But throughout the disc, the instrumental approach is as restrained and minimalist as the cover art, a picture of a barren field. When you're singing about matters of life and death, is there really a need for ornamentation?