This smacks of quality before you even press play. Love Rides A Dark Horse is a great title, and Landry was formerly in country/roots band Old Crow Medicine Show so he’s got the experience behind him, making this a confident collection.
It’s nothing new but the music is well paced, and he has a deep baritone voice that delivers his half spoken, half sung lyrics in similar fashion to Johnny Cash.
The backstory is that one minute Landry was fronting a successful band but tired of writing love songs, the next his fiancée had left him, he was out of the band and life was “an exhaustingly long walk through a knee-deep tunnel of shit ending in death.” He also quotes Townes Van Zandt: “There are only two kinds of music, the blues and zippety doo-dah”.
There are no cheerful, life-affirming pop tunes in this set, shall we say. But there are pleasingly melancholic country tunes reflecting on life, Leonard Cohen with steel guitar. The tunes unfold and it’s as much a Coen brothers’ film as an album.