Criticizing country music can be a little hard, I’m not gonna lie. There’s so much of it and sometimes it’s hard to see how one trend got to another. In some ways, the current country music scene barely even resembles the hits of long ago and those acts, men clad in suits and a level of brevity and this almost underlying sense of sorrow that would follow them. The country music scene is more mainstream now like a lot of music and has transcended a style into becoming a culture into itself.
Like with any music fad, you can either evolve or die on the vine, but in evolving, you don’t need to outright reject the present. You can repurpose them, mold them into what you want to explore, and like a lot of music, you’ve got tools to tell your story, there’s no one style that should be duplicated like it’s the law. Enter Gary Pratt, a longtime performer finally back to pick up some steam with the release of his newest album Something Worth Remembering. This forthcoming March release sees eleven fantastic tracks telling charming stories and enrapturing its audience with the presence of a true Country music maestro in the form of Pratt who has an elastic voice that can cover so many different styles and tones both light and dark. This album is a labor of love from the native Pennsylvanian who dedicates it to his late brother and has spent god knows how long tinkering getting it just right, and it’s more than near perfect.
With memorable ditties like “Sounds Like Whiskey to Me”, “Til’ Your Boots Are Dirty” and “A Song You Can Drink a Beer To”, Pratt shows off his charismatic joker performance side, poking fun at some of the modern trappings of country music while also indulging them. He knows that despite being a bit on the overplayed side, there’s plenty in the truth of what has made modern country music stand the test of time. He knows how to be charming and romantic almost to a fault with “When It’s Our Love That’s Lost” and the subsequent duet towards the end “To Find Us” that sees Pratt sing about the highs and lows of loving someone and the toll it takes on you when you have to give such a big part of your life to someone else.
Things come to a close with the sensitive but stirring title album track, written by Grammy Award Nominee, Tony Arata, and the song is dedicated to Pratt’s late brother. It’s a touching tribute that acts as a perfect bookend to the album that’s covered so much as it has. It might not be the best album to convert someone into a country music fan and sometimes it might run a little long, but even despite that it’s always engaging and there were plenty of tracks I found myself coming back to. You can currently listen to the title track on platforms like Spotify,