The debut record from Houston piano man Damian O'Grady: From 9 'Til 1 (2018) is a romping traditional country release, reflecting the experience of a man who spent years playing sideman to some of the Lone Star State's best dance bands and who picked up a thing or two along the way.
A frequent cameo on the mic when playing with Texas favourites Amber Digby & Midnight Flyer and prior to that with Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers, Damian O'Grady started recording this album years ago. Life got in the way for a while, but five years after shelving it he finally rented the studio time to get it mastered, and the result is an excellent debut.
For a man who's musical tastes range from Jethro Tull to George Harrison, this is a remarkably traditional country album: shufflers and two-steppers go back-to-back with barroom weepers and cheating ballads, tales of lost love and introspective deep thinkers. O'Grady wrote every song bar one on this album, and it's one cover is a masterful duet version of a 1983 Conway Twitty B-side, where Damian O'Grady teams with Austin songstress Brennen Leigh on Cheatin' Fire.
The fiddle from Jason Roberts and steel from Dave Biller and Johnny Cox add to the album's many highlights: including the can't-live-with-'em-can't-live-without-'em Back Again, the rocking Too Far Gone and the honky tonkin' title track. A thoroughly entertaining debut that O'Grady's son will be proud to play for his kids further down the line.
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