Sears on the Farm

Out Thru the Troubadour (Big Whoop Records)
Jeff Sears

By David Lilly

Hey Mr. Sears, what happened? How, or rather why did you go from Stick People and then the beautiful gloom of your first solo release, 2000's Comfortable Skin, to the yee-haw (!) territory of this new album, Out Thru the Troubadour? I love that wordplay and I'm not complaining - I'd just like to know why you changed musical styles and successfully so, like switching from a dark-cloud suit and rainy shirt to overalls and knee-high rubber boots. Some people can listen to country music for only a short time. That said, I'm sure the gods are laughing at me because, as fate would have it, you are a gifted man, Jeff and this is a charming album.

Some of these songs lend themselves to kicking up your heels at the end of the day; that is, if you intend to rest them on a footstool a comfortable distance from your favorite chair. This is such a cozy position for rocking a baby or small child while watching the flames in the fireplace or gazing out a picture window. The point is, "A Love That Lingers On," "Pitchin' Woo," "Love Him Before it's Too Late" and other tunes here are ripe for reflective, meditative and relaxing times. "A Lovin' Single Man (with a one track mind)" and "Strike Me" are great opportunities for giving those youngsters their first dancing experiences. For me, the latter also evokes images of a happy couple sharing dishwashing duties on accounta, well, they just really enjoy doing that.

Even as someone who generally dislikes country music, I highly recommend Out Thru the Troubadour. . If you happen to purchase a copy of this CD, feel free to let Sears know how you feel about his work, via SEARSJEFFREY@aol.com