Like Tom Waits meeting Leonard Cohen in a roadside ale house, this album combines lust, rage and sadness with a taste for sleezy late night music. Micah is out in a league of his own.
The first half of the album is folky with a dark streak. Somber songs sung with an authority that makes you listen. Then Micah takes on a different personality, turning into a flamboyant storyteller who commands a string orchestra for added dramatic effect.
‘You Will Find Me’, ‘The Wishing Well And The Willow Tree’, ‘We Won’t Have To Be Lonesome’ - The second half of the album is full of drama and passion. There is more than a touch of Roy Orbison’s excess and the Big O’s ambivalence between laughter and tears in these songs. Micah performs his more outlandish material with sincerity. This is no kitschy 1950’s nostalgia but very powerful music.
‘The Red Empire Orchestra’ is as eclectic a mix of old and new music genres as you are likely to find. It figures that the bard from Texas has named The Cure, Patsy Cline and Donovan as a source of inspiration in interviews before.
Micah’s enjoyed a good bit of media attention on release of his debut, ‘Micah P. Hinson And The Gospel Of Progress’. He’s also been on tour with that highly successful mainstream bloke-with-guitar, David Gray. An odd coupling, I agree. But did it establish Micah with a larger audience? Unfortunately not. So enjoy a bit of a secret tip and treat yourself to a rather unusual singer and songwriter.
Fans of Cohen, Waits, the Tindersticks, Nick Cave and Richard Hawley should definitely check Micah’s new album out.