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Jackson County Line

Music Reviews Jackson County Line
Pin debut packs quiet punch

Atlanta’s Jackson County Line camps out at the mellow end of the spectrum, and the band’s sweet, laidback harmonies and all-acoustic instrumentation conjure the hippie-cowpoke ethos of the early Eagles and Harvest-era Neil Young. But this is no mere exercise in retro nostalgia. Chamber-pop cello and muted trumpet—hardly mainstays out on the trail—are featured prominently, and lead singer/songwriter Kevin Jackson’s reedy, soulful tenor is more indebted to Bill Withers and Dobie Grey than Don Henley. Jackson is also a ?ne writer, transforming the loping “Let Me Ride” into an apocalyptic nightmare and using understatement to devastating effect on the deceptively lovely title track, which chronicles a harrowing night spent in a jail cell because of racial pro?ling. Jackson, who is black, is clearly one cowpoke who has more on his mind than a peaceful, easy feeling. This is a gently moving and disquieting debut.

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