Recording information: Ardent Studio A, Memphis, TN (09/2012); Wide Studios, East Nashville, TN (09/2012).
Photographer: Jamie Clayton.
The very title Good Light carries connotations of positive vibes, so it doesn't come as a great surprise that this 2013 album -- Drew Holcomb's fifth collection of original material -- does have a nice, comfortable, sunny veneer. Which isn't to say that Good Light is needlessly sentimental or saccharine. Holcomb is a paragon of good taste, a singer/songwriter indebted to Tom Petty and Bob Dylan who has chosen to pattern his relaxed roots after their softer sides, at least as far as this album is concerned. The Neighbors also feature Holcomb's wife and partner, Ellie Bannister Holcomb, who often harmonizes and sings duets, lending this warmth and accentuating the coziness at the album's core. It's rare when the band kicks up some dust -- "Nothing Like a Woman" comes close -- but that doesn't mean that all of Good Light merely shimmers in the sun; "Good Light," "Rooftops," and "Tennessee" all have insistent choruses that hook into the subconscious. Nevertheless, Holcomb remains a songwriter who favors subtle construction to earthy bombast, traits that mean Good Light isn't an immediate knockout but rather a gently insinuating, casually charming collection designed to fit into the rhythms of your life because it so clearly reflects the rhythms of its creator. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine