Paige Lewis “Under The Texas Sky”

Word Records, 2023

A neo-country Texan love story.

Paige Lewis, Under The Texas Sku, Word Records 2023Under the Texas Sky’ is Paige Lewis’s fourth album, suggesting two things: she may have flown somewhat under the radar, yet this has given her ample opportunity to hone her neo-country sound. This album emerges as a rich, resonant work, echoing the warm, revivalist energy of recent artists like Kacey Musgraves and ’90s country stalwarts Reba McEntire and Martina McBride.

The album’s title track rolls out with unabashed pride, bursting into an anthemic celebration of Paige’s love for Texas and a bold testament to her own considerable talent. Elsewhere ‘Pretty Good Time‘ is an intoxicating blast of electric John Prine combined with the barefoot vibes of Jimmy Buffett and fellow Texan Jerry Jeff Walker. “Drinkin’ margaritas on the rocks right now / Skinny dipping off the docks right now / A little rum, gonna have some fun…

While songs celebrating hometown pride and the formula for an idyllic day may not be groundbreaking, they exude an infectious charm. Lewis’s skillful songwriting shines, particularly when she varies the mood. ‘The Manager (The Karen Song)‘ delivers a sardonic take on grievance culture, contrasting with ‘Through a Child’s Eyes’, which offers a poignant reflection akin to Don Henley’s ‘End of the Innocence‘, pondering the fading simplicity of youth.

Tracks like ‘Pickin’ Blue Bonnets‘ blend a happy-sad refrain with an effortless swing. Easy as a morning walk under a bright blue sky in spring. There’s a nostalgia for time gone by: “Time is not a hand to hold so let it go… Let it blow into the wind.

The theme of yearning for simpler times is particularly evident in the acoustic finale, ‘Arkansas,‘ where Lewis longs for less complicated days. Throughout, Lewis performs with an effortless grace, her vocal and musical talents in sync with the album’s laid-back yet introspective nature.

7/10
7/10

About Tom Harding 15 Articles
A writer with a love of all things country, folk, jazz and blues. By night I'm a poet with two published poetry books from Palewell Press, latest available now, "Afternoon Music." www.tomharding.net
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