The title of one of my favorite songs captures it best: “So Much Good Right Here.” There’s no other way to (and certainly no reason not to) put it as honestly, for The Lonely Pines—the new album from Jesse Brewster (released by Crooked Prairie Records)—is such a pure experience that it deserves nothing but a response from the gut. Never underestimate the power of a singer/songwriter as connected to his material as Jesse Brewster. This is a collection of songs, performed with such clarity that there’s no doubt it can improve your day, or night, or life, for that matter.
Years ago, I moved on from the area I grew up in—a seemingly constantly declining once Utopian Northern California—but every now and then there are aspects of it that I actually miss. Chief among those is the certain flavor of country/rock that seemed organic to the state of golden-determined-to-outlast-summer weeds, eternal heaven-reaching redwoods, and happy-to-be-walking-single file quail families. Every chosen spot provides its own musical character, and so far Austin, Texas has been just about the only location I’ve found to produce musicians who can convince you that it’s all going to get better as consistently as Northern California has. With—thankfully—not much to worry about these days, all of this was on my mind lately, when, like a welcome breeze bringing a touch of the California coast’s cooling to a parched existence, The Lonely Pines, the new album by Jesse Brewster appeared. It reminded me once again that there are still some things of one’s past worth believing in. These are songs that give points of view to stories well worth telling that will convince you, too, that somehow, in spite of it all, everything is going to be alright.
Jesse Brewster’s fifth solo album is an entirely accessible ‘Welcome Home’ mat of roots country rock. It’s the kind of album that establishes a vibe that lasts long after the final track is over. What a good feeling it is just hearing it. And what a journey those tracks are. The moods evoked, the details shared, the emotions set ablaze or frozen forever, the sheer variety of the experience is as impressive as the impeccable musicianship.
What more can you ask for from an art form that so frequently creates a world you might wish to escape from? This album by Jesse Brewster is a destination—The Lonely Pines. Take me there.