The Stories Of Uncle John
Goodnight, Texas strays from their first album’s roots in a good way. While A Long Life of Living was a good introduction to the band, their follow-up album, Uncle John Farquhar,shows the continuation of the band’s first album. Much of the same old-school folk vibe is there, plus a few modern hits to show their sound’s growth.
Instead of a solely instrumental album with mostly slow ballads, Uncle John Farquhar feature the group breaking through various fast-tempo songs. “The Horse Accident (In Which A Girl Was All But Killed)” has the same lightness in terms of instruments— a sole banjo, harmonizing chorus, and steady drum beat. “She deserves to thrive on this Earth a little longer / if you need another worker, you can take me in her place.” A horse accident gone wrong and saving the love of the storyteller is pretty much on par with the subject matter the group has always covered. As the song abruptly ends with the single line of the chorus, one can only imagine that the singer did actually die before he could finish the song.
The album’s title track, “Uncle John Farquhar,” is almost reminiscent of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” in the chorus. It’s one of the more modern-sounding tracks of the album. “Hayride,” the album’s first track, is a strictly banjo-picking instrumental track that drives to the end.
“Moonshiners” is a heavy song with a hard-stomping beat behind it. The twanging story of the moonshiners and their lives packs a punch. “What do the cockroaches do / when no one’s around / they live like the moonshiners / half underground.”
The album as a whole is touted as a scrapbook of tales from another time. And that’s what it is. The sounds are slightly all over the place, but when you consider the fact that it is supposed to be various snippets, it makes sense. It’s a little of the old and a few modern twists of the old.