It’s cool to be an “outlaw” again, at least in country music. And no, we’re not talking about those guys who give a middle finger to the law or do jail time just to get firsthand experience. The “outlaws” I’m talking about are artists who are taking more control over their own music and drifting away from country’s conventional sound.
Enter South Oklahoma-based Americana-country-bluesman, Jeff Hobbs, a singer-songwriter steeped in his original musical roots. Mix outlaw with soul and add in a little southern-friend rock and you have a pretty good idea of the musical vibe on his new album ‘Upward.’
From the stories he’s telling, it sounds like Hobbs has traveled some bumpy highways and come out on the other side stronger and ready to share his lessons learned. With his masculine voice, southern boy charm and country flavor, the musician’s songs are authentic, seeping with real and raw emotion.
Made up of well-composed songs, ‘Upward’ contains an amazing amount of diversity as well as tidbits of experimentation without ever elongating any one section or theme unnecessarily. All the tracks stand out in their own way.
The collection on ‘Upward’ bends the singer-songwriter style and manages to sound comfortable, magnetic, and passionate all at once. On songs like “5 Nickels and A Hummingbird,” “Bitter Wind,” “House of Cards” and “Songs for the Restless” Hobbs is true, genuine and as real as they come. “Bound to Live” and the title track “Upward” are empowering gems. About “Bound to Live,” Hobbs says, “is that rally cry within yourself to get off your ass and move.” We think you should get off your ass and buy this album.