Small-town blue-collar tales of hope around the campfire.
This is Forrest McCurren’s debut album independently released and is a definite grower. Fans of John Prine will see and hopefully admire the influence. The songs take the listener on the road from dirty, messy motels to trailer parks and even church to sing ‘Amazing Grace’. Small town drug dealers mix with washed-up football players, jilted lovers, and more. The characters would not be out of place in the Mary Gauthier songbook or even early Springsteen. The album’s title comes from a saying his father used regularly, especially to express surprise or wonder and suits the mood perfectly.
He is joined by his wife Margaret who sings backing vocals, drums and fiddle. The songs are all quite short and you can tell that McCurren enjoys the art of writing songs that have a definite story to them. It has a laid-back feel and is a hopeful album. As he says, ‘you can either count your losses or your blessings’. It’s a collection that chases dreams, but here they all start in places such as ‘booze-filled fights’ or in strip joints. It is also very cautionary about managing how far dreams can take you. ‘Some folks gotta chase a dream. I just want a bar where the drinks are cheap’
The love songs are very touching, particularly ‘Denver’ when two lovers have the same tattoo at the age of fifteen and then find each other years later – ‘Am broken I am bent I was stupid, and I got spent. It’s so good seeing you again’. It’s this blue-collar feel that runs through each song that makes it so appealing and very real.