COME ON IN
Shed Music/Continental Record Services
Elegant Country Love Songs For the Very Sad and Lonely.
Where to start? Chris Comper aka Prinz Grizzley first got in touch with me in 2016 sending me his debut EP; which I loved and thought I’d reviewed…..but can’t find a copy any where. As happens he disappeared off my radar until a couple of weeks ago when the nice people from Continental Record Services got in touch rather excitedly raving about this ‘new’ Austrian Country influenced singer-songwriter……and it’s fair to say Chris/Prinz has spent the intervening two years immersing himself in the dark and lonely end of the Country street and honing his song-writing skills within an inch of his life.
The album starts with a delightfully sad lament called Wide Open Country; a wailing harmonica and pedal-steel link together over a slow waltz like beat as Grizzley bemoans his luck and the effect he has on the people around him.
Give Me One Reason follows; and you are instantly transported to a bar in a Nashville backstreet on a damp Tuesday night with only you and a handful of other losers in love watching the singer singing a song about ‘you’ and you alone. Yes; my friends Prinz Grizzley has the ability to reach deep inside your chest and squeeze your heartstrings with his words.
Things do perk up a little on Mountain’s Milk; a four to the floor toe-tapper that finds our singer fighting the urge to break into a yodel on the chorus; which was a relief at RMHQ.
Prinz’s nasally world weary voice is perfectly matched on the Townes Van Zandt/Guy Clark influenced Irene and I Can See Darkness; both of which show a writing talent in the ascendancy.
Okay; this album is on the darker end of the Country spectrum; but there’s plenty of us out there who appreciates songs about losing in love; sung by someone who sounds like he is actually living the hurt he portrays. Yes/No?
As I’ve been happily married for 40 years Mrs Magpie has never understood why I love Country songs like Personal Hell and Where’s Your Fire Gone (which sounds like a long lost Gram song btw) but every coin has two sides and while I’m happy on the outside; I do love to wallow in my own misery some nights and songs like these are the perfect soundtrack.
Which brings me to the award of ‘RMHQ Favourite Track’……at face value not easy; as this is an album that needs to be listened to and cherished in one complete sitting; but I absolutely adore Fiery Eyes; which ticks every box I have for a bitter sweet love song; especially the brass section that swings in every few lines as does that scintillating pedal-steel on a deeply personal song that just may be written about my feelings for my own beautiful wife.
It’s a very crowded market place for Americana/Country Music at the moment; and it may be all too easy for an Austrian Country singer-songwriter to disappear between the cracks; but that would be a shame of huge proportions as in Prinz Grizzley we have a glorious songwriter and singer who, alongside his band can stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the currently feted ones in America, Canada or indeed the UK at the moment.
# For fans of Sturgill Simpson, Jarrod Dickenson and Danny & the Champions of the World.
Released February 13th 2018