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Logan Ledger | Logan Ledger

The California singer-guitarist gives country a kick in the ass on his debut.

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THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rising Bay Area-bred singer-songwriter Logan Ledger’s highly anticipated self-titled debut album was produced by 13-time Grammy winner T Bone Burnett. Ledger embraces the roots of country music while looking through a dark and surrealistic lens — a sound that’s stylistically wayward yet deeply grounded in classic s ongmanship. “We were pretty much on the same page when it came to what kind of album we were going to make: something that drew from the traditional folk and country music I’ve loved since childhood, but with a good portion of rock and roll and psychedelia thrown in,” Ledger says of working with Burnett. “I’ve always believed that in order to create something new with purpose, one must be steeped in the past and work from within the tradition. This record represents the manifestation of so many of my lifelong dreams about music.” Backed by T Bone Burnett, additional support on the album comes from guitarist Marc Ribot, drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Dennis Crouch and guitarist/pedal steel player Russ Pahl. Ledger says, “We’re all sort of twirling around each other and creating this great big texture of sound together … I love how everyone’s constantly improvising, but without ever getting in anybody else’s way.”

MY TWO CENTS: Every decade or so, country needs a good kick up the ass. Lately, it’s been delivered by the likes of rebels like Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson and Midland. Now you can add Logan Ledger to the list. The Northern California singer-songwriter’s solid and superb self-titled debut album strikes a brilliant balance between reverence and revolution. Some of these lushly shaded T Bone Burnett-helmed tracks sound like a twangy throwback to the glory days of Nashville’s Music Row. Others play it faster, louder and looser, augmenting Ledger’s lonesome Orbisonian twang and old-school melodic melancholia with throbbing psychedelia, jangling arpeggios and rustic roots-rock earthiness. Finally, a few sound like they belong on the jukebox at True Detective’s Black Rose Bar or Twin PeaksRoadhouse. Put them together along (along with a dark-hearted cover of the bona fide classic Skip a Rope), toss in a crack band of first-call players and you’ve got one of the more dynamic and distinctive country albums to come down the pike this year. And an album that puts the cowboy boot right where it belongs.