It’s refreshing to listen to an album that focuses on always improving on being a better person and finding yourself. As a young person myself, we often forget that life is a journey that takes years of mistakes and trail and error to finally “figure it out.” I have to catch myself at times because at 26 years old, I have a lot to learn and have plenty of time to experience life. That’s a large part of the reason I started this website - what do I have to lose? Should I be afraid that people won’t read or care what I have to say? Maybe, but the only way one can improve and find themselves and their purpose, is to be a doer. Not to hide in the shadows and be afraid to take risks like so many people. One must also be self-aware of this and not approach life with arrogance, and Kody West does a beautiful job sharing that message throughout his debut album Green.
As I listened to this album, I found myself really loving the middle tracks in particular. That is where we find the gold mines of Green, Ledges, and The Prayer. The self reflection on what West can do better as a person as he ages is a breathe of fresh air. All too often in our age group, it’s full of kids that are arrogant and think that they are the best thing in the world. Newsflash: we’re young and it is in our best interest to learn from those that came before us. In The Prayer, West even says “while learnin’ to love and act like a man” which is honesty at its finest. We don’t know everything at 21 or 26, but we learn by doing. It’s important to understand that not every relationship will work, but it’s the experience and how you reflect on it that tells everyone who you are. Are you the person that just blames everyone else? Or are you the young man that looks at what went wrong, holds yourself accountable when necessary, and asks: what you could have done better? I’ll take the latter.
Green as a whole is not a full on country album and flirts that country rock that is so prevalent in Texas and Red Dirt music. Under this genre’s large umbrella of music, we are gifted with artist like West that are able to stretch their musical wings and share their message with more electric guitar and rock inspired instruments. The difference with an album like this and the mainstream offerings, is the approach that prevents it from feeling like it’s just about the guitar. The subjects are of a higher-level and don’t have the party aura that has become the mainstream crutch. It’s enjoyable from start to finish and I have no doubt that West will be a prominent figure in the Texas scene.
While you’re busy checking out this album, do yourself a favor and check out his 2016 EP, “Higher Ground.” I had previously covered this over the winter on social media and am a big fan of the honky-tonk song Playing Cards. This one will have you dancing right along and it has some incredible banjo plucking throughout the entire track along with a sweet country guitar solo at the end.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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