The Musician: Phosphorescent is an Alternative-Country act that formed in Athens, Georgia before moving to, and gaining notoriety in, Brooklyn, New York. The band leader and primary songwriter goes by the name Matt Houck who used to tour as a solo artist under the stage name Fillup Shack.
The music news outlet Pitchfork loves Phosphorescent, if that means anything to you. Pitchfork gave a rave review to the Country outfit’s 2007 breakthrough release Pride, launching the band into the international limelight.
And how did the group follow up that beloved release? If you guessed a full-length collection of Willie Nelson covers, you’d have special powers of the mind, and be absolutely correct. 2009’s To Willie is an ode to the King of Weed Laced Country Tunes (this is not Nelson’s official alias), paying homage to the man who has had a major influence Huock and the music he plays. A nice gesture, but not the most conventional way to follow up a hit record.
But, if you’re going to take that route, the next record needs to be great and, according to Pitchfork, Here’s To Taking It Easy, possibly a reference to writers such as myself commenting on the band’s Nelson tribute, was just that.
Admittedly, Phosphorescent hooked me with the record’s opening salvo, a Jersey Shore Rock N’ Roll drenched piece called “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)” which bring to mind a Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes production.
Sadly, the brass section and upbeat Rock N’ Roll are never heard from again on Here’s To Taking It Easy, coincidentally, the same could be said of my attention span throughout the album’s duration.
“It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)”