Luke Laird is one of the most revered names in country songwriting and production, but until now, he hasn’t released any solo work. Some of Luke’s writing credits include ‘Temporary Home’ (Carrie Underwood), ‘Drink in My Hand’ (Eric Church) and more recently, ‘Somebody’s Daughter’ (Tenille Townes).
‘Music Row’ is Laird’s first album, and is a collection of his own songs that showcase his skills as both an artist and songwriter.
Kick-starting with title-track ‘Music Row’, Laird draws on his own experiences of Nashville in a catchy and joyous song about the music business. References to the Bluebird and other venues bring it to life, paired with snap beats and fiddle instrumentation, resulting in a top class opening song.
This is followed by ‘Good Friends’, a blues-inspired song that has a killer bass hook. The song tells the story of a connection throughout life, with an infectious positivity that is hard to not enjoy.
However, the album also has some sombre moments. ‘That’s Why I Don’t Drink Anymore’ begins with a spoken section, as an individual tells the story of his redemption, before building into a soft melody. It is a fascinating offering, blending genres, with a truly uplifting and meaningful story.
This album further showcases Laird’s talent as a deeply emotional songwriter, especially on ‘One More Divorce’. Featuring some wonderful fiddle solos, this song has lovely traditional vibe that highlights the heart-wrenching emotion.
“But stay here with me
The last thing we need
Is one more divorce in this town”
‘Branch on the Tree’ follows; a gospel-heavy number. The lyrics portray Laird as a ‘branch on the tree’ in the world, and how grateful he is for his life; one of the most positive songs in this collection. This track also utilises the pedal steel guitar to create a rich sound that brings it to life.
‘Leaves on the Ground’ focuses on the feeling of growing up, and childhood innocence. This is a classic-sounding country song that really allows Laird’s vocal to shine, whilst also painting the picture of loss, which will be relatable to many.
The final moment of the album continues the classic influence. ‘Country Music Will Never Die’ is a fitting, uplifting end to the collection that celebrates the genre’s sentiments:
“The trends might leave
But a heart on the sleeve don’t ever go out of style
Yeah, Country music will never die”
‘Music Row’ is a diverse collection that showcases some of Laird’s best work and is well worth seeking out, beneath the outer layer of mainstream hits in his back catalogue.
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