By SCOTT CUNNINGHAM // Tour includes dates in Eugene, Portland, and Seattle
Call it outlaw country, alt-country, or straight up great music: 1970's-style country music has made a huge resurgence lately. Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell have been at the forefront of this movement.
Cody Jinks is the latest entry, buoyed by his breakout release from August, "I'm Not the Devil". Jinks swings through the area this week with stops in Portland, Eugene, and Seattle. All but a date at the Wonder Ballroom on Wednesday, Feb. 8 are sold out.
Although Jinks grew up listening to the likes of Jennings, Haggard, and Cash, his first musical dream steered him toward heavy metal, worshiping bands like Metallica.
Jinks gave metal a serious run, but eventually came back to his outlaw roots.
"I'm Not the Devil" is dark, bordering on apocalyptic, as Jinks explores the burdens of modern life, weighing the loads we must carry and how our worldview evolves over time.
The album's title track has received the most attention, and for good reason. Jinks' vocals are deep and luxurious, accented with ample reverb, the lyrics painting a picture of a man recognizing he has made a mistake and pleading for forgiveness. Be sure to watch the video of Jinks performing the song on CONAN two weeks ago.
Heavy Load, the darkest track on the album, is as stark and bleak as a song can get with a dark bass line, classic country pedal steel fills, fiddle, and acoustic guitar. The fiddle takes on a decidedly devilish feel, as Jinks laments that "The train jumped tracks some time ago / You can't root that heavy load / It's all downhill from now."
If those words aren't bleak enough, check out the spoken break in the song.
Jinks has scored big with "I'm Not the Devil". Ironically, the grim themes of the album have his future looking about as bright as it could be.
Americana fans might remember Cauthen from the short-lived, but highly acclaimed, group Sons of Fathers. After releasing two albums and gaining some positive momentum, Cauthen abruptly quit the project after realizing it wasn't where he saw himself being.
After a stint of serious soul-searching, Cauthen wholeheartedly dove into a solo project, gradually putting together is first full length solo album titled "My Gospel".
The album is not a gospel album, at least in any traditional sense of the word. Rather, Cauthen's deeply personal message is one of hope, perseverance, and finding one's higher purpose.
With "My Gospel", Cauthen has found his to great effect.
ON TOUR: Cody Jinks has three Northwest tour stops this week. Wednesday Feb. 8 has him in Portland at the Wonder Ballroom, Thursday Feb. 9 in Eugene at the HiFi Music Hall, Friday Feb.10 back at the Wonder Ballroom, and Feb. 11, 12, and 14 at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. Wednesday night's show at the Wonder Ballroom is the only date with tickets still available.