For the last twenty years Jim Carbin & Acoustic Breaks have been writing and performing his own songs in various original bands. He is influenced by songwriters of the American country and folk scene such as Willie Nelson, John Prine, Blaze Foley and Jim Croce amongst others.
Long Time Comin' is his twelve-song album that captures proud, tender, hopeful, happy and melancholy moments. These emotions feel undeniably organic as if they were grown in a garden. There is this purity that really has to be heard. I really loved the instrumentation which is beautifully captured but it’s Carbin’s vocals that really sealed the deal for me.
I was pretty much on board with Carbin when I heard the opening track “Emma.” It’s a delightfully, warm song about a relationship but more so it’s about gratitude. Carbin tenderly delivers lines like “always proud to say I know you / call you my friend” which is genuine and soft and the female vocal accompaniment is the cherry on top.
The next song “Wee Country Song” picks up the energy with some sweet country twang. It’s a song that is sunny and warm but not too bright as to where I felt I needed more emotional diversity. It’s relaxed as if for a second your problems went away. There was something nostalgic and freeing about “Terrible Past” like it’s shining a flashlight on former tragedies and glory which is implied in the title.
“Cold” was a highlight. The mood is a bit more dark and mysterious. There is a good amount of atmosphere with classic storytelling. “Getting You Down” revisits a similar strain of emotion that we heard on “Wee Country Song” while “Going Nowhere Man” has the most energy yet and is a bluegrass inspired country song with catchy melodies and some sweet banjo.
There is some more great storytelling to be had with “The Untimely Demise of one Clyde Forestdale.” “Morning Train” is sweet and tender. Tom Waits came to mind when I heard “Cruel Light of.” “New York in September” is one of the more joyful tracks combining hope, reflection and appreciation. “The Rainbow's End” is sweet and tender but never feels saccharine. Last up is “Hard to be a Surf Bum” which is a great closer combining full instrumentation and leaving you with a glow of appreciation.
This album at it’s heart just feels comfortable in what it’s trying to be. It never felt forced as if Corbin was trying to make me understand the message. These songs have human stories behind them which present the meaning in such a way that I felt like I was observing different areas of Corbin’s life. That’s human, that’s relatable and that’s a huge reason as to why music like this can be so impactful. Highly Recommended.
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