From recounting the woes of the lonely vagabond to teary-eyed tales of loving and losing, storytelling has been an integral part of the country-western composition since the days of the original bluesmen.
While the genre as a whole seems to have moved away from this traditional approach, seeming to prefer ham-fisted patriotism and pop sensibilities over honest narratives these days, some newer artists still revere the way these things used to be done. Thorp Jenson is one such musician; with a six-string on his back and an honest story to relate, Jenson shares more in common with the archetypal Southwestern guitarist than the cowboy caricatures that make up much of the modern pop-country landscape.
Don’t let all this talk of traditionalism throw you: Jenson’s sound is much more than a southern drawl over simple guitar patterns. While the honesty of his approach evokes memories of country-western greats like Merle Haggard, it’s clear that Jenson draws inspiration from all kinds of sources on his debut LP Odessa. Take a listen to his new single “Lonely” and you’ll clearly hear the influence of rock legends Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and The Rolling Stones. And while the song itself has an upbeat honky-tonk boogey, the lyrics reveal the kind of from-the-heart authenticity that the genre was built upon. Slide guitar licks, shimmering organ lines, and a gospel choir fill out the sound on “Lonely,” resulting in a bar-rock anthem that pulses with more hope and joy than you’d expect from the title. It’s melancholic to a point, but the message doesn’t stop there. Even if you’re lonely, you’re not alone. Listen to “Lonely” below: