During AmericanaFest in Nashville last month it was difficult to walk into any bar, club or backyard and not bump into Aaron Lee Tasjan. The singer-guitarist who released the excellent ‘Karma for Cheap’ album back in August popped up initially at the Basement East venue where he performed a bombastic version of Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ at the Show Up and Sing! tribute night; following which he played at least one show each day, culminating with three different gigs on the Saturday – all the while dressed in a different gaudy outfit.
‘Karma For Cheap’ follows close on the heels of the ‘Silver Tears’ album, during which Tasjan was supposedly micro-dosing with LSD as a means of enhancing his creativity. If so, it appears to have worked as ‘Silver Tears’ represented another step forward from debut album, ‘In the Blazes’ released in 2015.
Of his latest record, Americana-UK’s own Mike Elliott said: “Highlights abound on ‘Karma for Cheap.’ From channeling the Electric Light Orchestra’s dense, sunny pop and George Harrison-like vocal and guitar on lead-off track, ‘If Not Now When’ to the capturing of Tom Petty’s spirit on both ‘Heart Slows Down’ (with its lyrical nod to Thunderclap Newman’s classic ‘Something in the Air’) and ‘End of the Day,’ Tasjan has perfectly captured two distinct eras in pop music – both of which are highly informed by the Beatles, with nods to jangle pop, the pub-rock of Rockpile, and a touch of Cheap Trick (on tracks like ‘Set You Free’ and ‘Crawling at Your Feet’). By allowing the past to inform his present, ‘Karma for Cheap’ turns out to be East Nashville-transplant Aaron Lee Tasjan’s best work to date, and it leaves one eager to hear where his next inspiration will lead him.”
Now UK fans have another opportunity to catch him starting on Wednesday of next week:
OCT 31 WED – The Caves, Edinburgh
NOV 2 FRI – Omeara, London
NOV 5 MON – The Maze, Nottingham
NOV 6 TUE – Night People, Manchester
NOV 7 WED – The Prince Albert, Brighton