What It Comes Down To
By Al Kaufman
Jeremy Aggers has the same carefree, effortless voice that has helped fellow North Carolinian James Taylor pay the rent all these years. When he playfully finger picks through the title cut, or subtly displays his sentimentality about his town (and a certain girl in said town) in "The Question," He is even better than anything Sweet Baby James has put out in the last 25 years. It's the kind of stuff that made Nanci Griffith pick Aggers to open her recent tour.
He gets a little heavy handed when his liberal leanings get the best of him on "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow," in which a kid gets shot by a cop over a traffic violation and a riot ensues. His heart's in the right place, but it's another case of passion overwhelming artistry. He's a better lyricist than "There's something wrong in the city/Some people call it a riot/Some call it a party."
He redeems himself on "The Leather Strap," an old-time bluesy number complete with cow bell that's not nearly as sexually provocative as the title suggests, but is definitely as painful.
It's really too bad What It Comes Down To is only a seven-song EP. I was ready to hear a few more tunes. They go down well on a sunny, summer afternoon.
Jeremy Aggers plays Atlanta Brewing Company on Friday, September 4.