It has been a while since I’ve written anything and I’ve been promising this fella I would for months, so here it is…Finally!
I’ve been a fan of Alex Culbreth since his days fronting the Virginia trio, The Parlor Soldiers. Now with The Dead Country Stars, Alex is rockin’ the full-band with a new roots and Americana sound on their debut album Heart in a Mason Jar. Released last year, Heart in a Mason Jar is a confident and solid thirteen song collection showcasing Alex’s distinctive voice and strong songwriting abilities. Kicking the album off is the title track, “Heart in a Mason Jar.” It’s an undiluted and bold song about a toxic relationship and a great introduction to the band and their dynamic sound. The second track, “Drinkin’ Bout You” is a well-written yet typical country tune with a sense of humor, while Culbreth knowledgeably and skillfully tells the story of an aspiring country singer in the personal “I’m Going To Nashville.” And, starting any party is the fun and catchy beat of “Mercy Me” followed by the heartbreaking ballad “Daisy.” An unusal tale of friendship between a patient at the Brooklyn Psychiatric Ward and his imaginary friend, “Daisy” uniquely and lovingly deals with the struggles of mental illness. Then, Culbreth’s songwriting talents shine in the hoedown-turned-protest song “Let’s Send the Politicians Off To War.” Somehow Culbreth is able to make a potentially cheesy song into something that just works.
Heart in a Mason jar is one helluva a coming out party for Alex Culbreth and The Dead Country Stars. It’s a magnetic, energetic, and impressive album that catapults Culbreth into something bigger and bolder leaving anything he did with The Parlor Soliders feeling like a distant memory.