Beaux Atkins New Album 'Redfearn'
Beaux Atkins plays an enjoyable mixture of country and Southern rock on his album Redfearn. The best of these six songs, are the more autobiographical ones. The gentle “Goodbye Blues,” for instance, features especially redemptive lyrics. Sung over a soft, gentle guitar strum groove, it’s the sound of Atkins finally finding peace and hope in life. On it, he says goodbye to the blues. The blues have seemingly traveled with him for a long distance, but he’s outlived his usefulness for these downer chains. He’s found reason for a joy the blues cannot ever give him. It’s a believable song because Atkins sings it from the voice of experience.
Atkins’ voice is scratchy and soulful. He’s no smooth crooner by any stretch, but he’s certainly convincing. And convincing always trumps sonically pleasing singing -- every time. The album opens with “Jesus Is On My Side.” It’s not a song that uses scripture to prove God’s love. Instead, Atkins lists all the blessings in his life as evidence that Jesus has his back. It’s sung over an upbeat Southern rock groove, colored by acoustic piano and slide guitar. He’s got a little pink house, which reassures him Jesus is always in his corner.
A slightly funky groove is applied to “Put Me in My Right Mind.” Its lyric highlights how the love of a good woman can lead to better mental health. This girl’s strong love basically keeps him sane. Over this danceable groove, one hears plenty of soulful slide guitar. (It should be said that great music can also help to put a person in the right frame of mind). The song also includes churchy female backing vocals.
“Had To Let It Go” is autobiographical. It finds Atkins singing about his rough childhood, which included coming from a broken home where his dad lived on the wild side of life. When Atkins sings about the need to “let it go,” he’s singing about not letting the troubles of his past hold back the forward progress of his present. We all have emotional baggage, but we don’t need to let it weigh us down. We need to leave the past in the past, so that it doesn’t distract us from our current focus. He counts the blessings of now having children of his own, for example, that need his love and attention. He can’t let what’s happened before thwart their future.
The album’s title track sports a wonderful, bass-y electric guitar part that sounds a bit like a Waylon Jennings track – in the best possible ways. Although Atkins’ voice is nothing like Jennings’, it sounds a lot like something that original outlaw might have sung. The album closes with “Come Out And Howl With Me Baby,” which is an ode to living life loud. Instead of staying in and getting blue, why not get out and make a little joyful noise? The song features plenty of wonderfully soulful harmonica. It’s a fantastic way to close this six-song EP. Life is to be lived with gusto, not stuck inside moping. It’s equally a fine postscript to the pandemic. We’ve been kept in, kept quiet for far too long. Go out and raise a celebratory ruckus!
With Redfearn, Beaux Atkins gives us a wonderfully heartfelt and personal set of songs.
Listen to 'Redfearn' here: