Album Review: Michael Harlen – The Big Country EP

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 3.02.34 PM.pngBetween the road-worn twang of the legendary Roger Miller and the lyrical sass and devil-may-care inflection of the iconic Randy Newman, there is a long stretch of deserted highway, previously unoccupied by a viable musical endeavor, until now. With his four-track record, The Big Country EP, out December 16th via Dala Records, Michael Harlen has kicked the dust and set up camp in the middle of that once-lonely road.

Harlan lyrically explores his loves and his travels, each song delivered with tenderness over acoustic strings attached to mandolins, guitars, and open back banjos, with easy touches of yearning pedal steel for the occasional heartstring tug. The stories end with stream-of-consciousness-like experimental closer “The Fixture,” as the New York City-based Harlen energetically recounts a city bus trip as his imagination runs wild.

With The Big Country EP, which feels like a porchfront jam session or a cozy night around a campfire, Harlen proves that good things come in small packages.

Purchase The Big Country EPhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-big-country-ep/id1177184292

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Susan Hubbard

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