CD Review: The Meeks Family — Thirty One Years of Lullaby; Playing CD Release Party @ Highland Ballroom, March 20
Thirty One Years of Lullaby
By Eileen Tilson
From the ashes of Atlanta indie rock band The Close comes singer Brooks Meeks’ latest project, The Meeks Family. Initially conceived as a country/songwriteresque project, Thirty One Years of Lullaby is more reminiscent of a scene out of Cold Mountain. Released on the newly revived indie label, Moodswing Records, the line up on this family reunion boasts former Iron & Wine drummer Jonathan Bradley, Johnny Kral of the Hiss playing bass and steel, with Meeks front and center.
The album lures you in like a folk tale. Opening with the brief, “ The Sorrow of Gwen Stacy,” Meeks sets you up for a story about … insert sad, forlorn love gone adrift here. “Tower of Envy” stands tall above the rest of the album, as a personal reflection, dark and brooding of “climbing the tower.” The songs weave along like southern kudzu, creating a very visual southern gothic singalong with songs like “Roots and Boots” and “The Deuce of Clubs.” The moral of the album-story touches on issues of death and love, leaving the listener wondering whether Meeks wrote these songs while walking along some dusty road with a handkerchief tied to a stick. “Lips for Your Kissin” is straight out of an old western, with Teresa Fedor lending her sweet and distant voice for the perfect two-step blending.
Meeks emphasized that his music is not country, but the old west runs rampant through this Appalachia saloon music. Not quite alternative country, but definitely Kill Bill soundtrack worthy, Thirty One Years of Lullaby is the perfect setting for a campfire lore.