Release Date: Mar 29, 2011
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Country, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
How do you crystallise the ragged, shattered fragments of heartbreak into musical figure and form? The thin, indistinct, practically invisible line dividing genuine catharsis from over-sentimental blustering has always been the ultimate meridian for singer-songwriters. And given that human emotion is by its very nature given to hyperbole and overwrought avowals, the ability to temper this while still maintaining a hand over your heart provides a challenge befitting only the brave and the brilliant. Avoiding the potholes of self-indulgence, petty jealousy, bitterness to create something genuinely beautiful and affecting is a nearly impossible task.
This Texas singer-songwriter works in epic strokes. His 2001 album with the power trio Lift to Experience, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, was a sprawling two-CD forecast of Armageddon. This solo debut is as commanding: emotional trial ("Woman, When I've Raised Hell") and despair ("Country Dumb") stripped to Pearson's fraught vocals and hypnotic, irregular fingerpicking.
Josh T. Pearson may well be one of the most elusive characters in modern underground music. Enigmatic on stage, he occupies a gravity and space that is very seldom seen in modern musicians. There's something about Josh that, if you have had the pleasure of seeing him live, makes you feel connected into another world, tapping into some other place.
“I’m off to save the world,” the sinner warbles on “Thou Art Loosed,” Josh T. Pearson’s solo debut opener, before the singer pulls a smooth, blasphemous U-turn and rights himself in the next offering, clarifying, “I ain’t your savior or your Christ/Or your goddamn sacrifice. ” Meticulously constructed and orchestrated into an LP format that would make guitar-noodler James Blackshaw grin, the average track length of Country Gentlemen clocks in at eight-and-a-half minutes—so it’s not really “tunes” Pearson’s composing, so much as acoustic epics.
In 2001, with his band Lift to Experience, Josh T. Pearson created an epic domestic-shoegaze classic, in the form of the double-LP concept record The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads. Like the musical equivalent of a Monte Hellman–Pier Passolini double feature, the album (released on the British label Bella Union) quickly became a cult classic. Awash in arch biblical imagery, swirling guitars, and angelic vocals that recalled both Jeff Buckley and his father, this wide-screen affair was a burst of creativity that came out of nowhere and left the listener dizzy, confused, and searching for more.
Josh T. Pearson's Last of the Country Gentlemen is a nakedly confessional, unflinchingly honest, sometimes suffocatingly intimate album. It profiles the desperation of one who desires deliverance from tormented obsession and self-destructive behavior, yet can find neither rest nor redemption. Pearson expresses this without megalomania or self-pity.
Best known for Lift to Experience's 2001 cult classic The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads – which, just before 9/11, prophesied the end of the world – Josh T Pearson has spent the following decade losing his faith and his mind in Tehuacana, Texas, and spending months in bed. Somehow, he found time to pen a handful of songs documenting – but, of course – the collapse of a brief, ill-fated marriage. Those songs – with titles such as Sweetheart, I Ain't Your Christ – are as troubled as you'd expect, with the preacher's son conjuring clouds of intensity from mostly just plucked guitar and his ravaged Jeff Buckley of a vocal.
In the early 2000s, Lift to Experience burst out of the Denton, Texas, scene with The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, a mind-bogglingly ambitious double LP about the metaphysical juncture between the Lone Star State and the Middle East. Amid all the praise for the spiraling guitars and heady lyrical mythologies, the band quietly dissolved, as if it had already said everything it needed to say. Frontman Josh T.
Striking debut solo collection from the former Lift to Experience frontman. Mike Diver 2011 Josh T Pearson – wild-eyed, heavy-bearded frontman of the phenomenal-for-an-album (2001’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads) Denton rockers Lift to Experience – was thought adrift in the wilderness during the early 00s. That double-disc, concept-rich long-player, a hugely acclaimed release, is all the trio concocted of note before they were done, Pearson seeking refuge amongst the detritus of a thousand other stalled and collapsed careers.
In 2001, Denton's Lift to Experience took off overseas with its debut double LP, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, a Lone Star classic of Pentecostal space rock that netted three John Peel sessions in less than six months. Frontman Josh T. Pearson spent the next decade culling his mystique, literally living in the wilderness and releasing only a split single with the Dirty Three.