Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols

The Last Pale Light in the West

Liberty & Lament /The Rebel Group

Lucero’s Marlboro-throated front man, Ben Nichols, has spent his band’s down time doing some reading (Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy), some literary inspired songwriting, and some recording. The result is this seven song mini-album, The Last Pale Light in the West, which bares a lonesome Nichols in all his whiskey-choked glory.

The singer’s solo venture is raw and naked, with Nichols’ voice taking center stage. The mood of the album, like McCarthy’s writing, is cowboy western in feeling and painfully beautiful in its simplicity. The landscape is vast and barren, the sun bakes down on your back, and the road is long and empty. These are songs to listen to alone, on horseback if you can manage.

The real winners here are the soft epic “The Kid,” the toe-tapping honky tonk “Davy Brown,” and the campfire song “Toadvine.”

For now the album is available solely as a download through Lucero’s website, but will be released wide on January 20, 2009.


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