The Album -
-Review by Cassie Hughes
25 September, 2020
Andy Lindquist returns once again, this time with a full country playlist of original material that celebrates life with all the undertones of faith, hope, love and charity. The 15 track album kicks off with “Black, Yellow, Red and Blue” which opens the record with a powerful statement against racism and the artist's faith in God, love and country. His lyrics will speak to may people in the current political climate – reminding us that “it's all about love” and loving your neighbour. The political theme continues with his declaration that he is a “Democrat cowboy” and does not want to become a hateful hater. At times like these it is relatable to want to feel love, and patience and a promise of better times ahead – and it all starts right here.
We then enter a slower transition with the track My Cowboy Blues and Lucky Stars, the latter of which has some lovely country vocal layering and a distinct bluesy undercurrent. Following on from this, My Friend Whiskey, is a track of despair - that immense feeling of loss and feeling as though there is no end in sight is then superseded by a good old fashioned country track - “Holler Run”. Now this is the kind of country song that you would hear in a smoke filled whiskey bar, raising spirits in spite of its narrative on heartbreak and betrayal. On the flip-side of this, “In Country Heaven”, Lindquist pays tribute to many of the famous country music stars of the last generation. Dropping names like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, whose influence can still be felt in modern times, underwriting and influencing some of the biggest names in rock and metal. It is also a total celebration, its upbeat rhythm and lyrics pay homage to country life. The rise and fall of the music – the change in tempo, the change in emotion and the quick fire way it tugs at the heart in a visceral way is mirrored in real life. The ebb and flow depicts the uncertainty and fear that seems to be pervasive in the world right now, exacerbated by politics, pandemics and wildfires.
The track listing has a very solid theme running throughout. Lindquist sings of faith, and charity, and compassion towards others. He preaches tolerance and patience; self reflection and continuous growth and learning. The delicate vocals in “Willow” absolutely hit the nail on the head. The lyrics are charged, singing of despair and loss of faith yet the tide can always turn and we can see change on the horizon.
The sound and lyrical content of the album, while shrouded in a kind of typical country vibe, sounds to this listener like an allegorical tale and social commentary. But the important things are emphasised in constant contrast to some of the sadder lyrics. The final song on the album, “The Mighty Red”, is an acoustic ballad of hope. The world we live in right now can certainly use a bit more of that.
Dakota Country is due for release on 27th October, 2020.