Up With The Sun
Up With The Sun is Alex Woodard’s fourth studio record, following the Pete Droge-produced Mile High, and it’s his finest effort yet.
It’s the first album the Southern California native has produced by himself and continues on the organic acoustic path of his previous record, with copious amounts of pedal steel, lap steel and mandolin as well as a stack of superb, beautifully crafted songs.
The sweet country melody of jaunty opener “Open Road” sets the tone impressively and contrasts nicely with the poignant strains of the heartfelt “Adelaide”. The duo of “Sweet Peace (When I Think Of You) and “Yellow Circle Sun” see the San Diego-based songwriter hitting the sort of rocky territory his first two records displayed, while some understated piano and acoustic guitar add surprising depth to the fragility of “Thought I’d Be There By Now”.
Each successive Alex Woodard usually has at least one moment of breathtaking brilliance, and Up With The Sun is no exception, with “Could Have Been Love” and the beautiful “Lift” vying for that accolade.
Woodard’s strengths don’t just lie in the quality of his songwriting, the depth of his voice or his flawless production; the sheer simplicity of his music and approach to the industry is also to be admired. Recent releases by Peter Bradley Adams, Steve Reynolds and Gus Black prove there are a lot of outstanding independent singer-songwriters around right now, but Woodard is the pick of the bunch.
Alex Woodard: www.alexwoodard.com