Artist: Courtney Granger
Album: Beneath Still Waters
Label: Valcour Records
Release Date: 10/14/2016
Courtney Granger is probably best known for his lead work with Cajun outfit, the Pine Leaf Boys, and his immersion in Cajun/Acadian music in general. With Beneath Still Waters, however, he has stepped backwards, perhaps, to his own personal love and background influence, good ole’ country music, with strong undertones and overtones of George Jones, Charlie Pride and the old romping country gangsters.
Granger provided most of the tracks from his own resources and the album kicks off with a true, twang; slamming, gripping pedal-steel slams from the opener and gives a more than fair hint at what to expect here. Granger’s own vocals are well poised, polished and pure country– like an Old Opry lookback– honky-tonking at its very best.
Among the covers here, Granger slips in a take on the old standard “What Are They Doing In Heaven,” and for me, at least, probably the finest version of this old chestnut I’ve heard, a track that alone would make the album worthwhile.
That aside, the overall package here explodes with top quality musicianship, material and mastery. Granger seems clearly at ease with the country cross-over and his departure from Cajun, bluesy-biased material. Launched in October, Beneath Still Waters is an album worth checking out, and could well prove to be one of the finest modern country releases of the past twelve months.