Saints Eleven - This Town
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This Town (Self-released, 2020)

Saints Eleven

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

The fourth release from the Dallas-based Saints Eleven is a six-song EP with a potent mix of country, folk and rock. Lead singer/lyricist Jeff Grossman kicks off the set with a pair of tunes about strained relationships. "My Home Is" deals with the difficulty of a touring musician missing milestones in his child's life ("I've been on the road so long I ain't seen my son since I don't know when/Watching you grow up on the phone in the pictures your mom sends"), while "Love In Hell" tells the story of a stormy marriage in which both feel betrayed ("How many times can I say I'm sorry/How many nights have I left her alone/No matter how hard I seem to try/She thinks she's the only one that's lonely") featuring nice keyboards from Drew Harakal.

The title track and "The Crown" are country rockers that recall Ray Wylie Hubbard with the latter showcasing Grossman on Dobro. The hardest rocking tune is "Let Us Be" with some hot lead guitar licks from Grossman. The closer is the mellow "A Song For Smiley" with some more nice Dobro work and ending with the uplifting sentiment "I hope this song finds you well."

Produced by Erik Herbst at his Panhandle House studio in Denton, Texas, the driving force of the EP is frontman Grossman with his strong compositions and musicianship nicely augmented by bandmates Travis Udall (bass) and Alex Shepard (drums). Though it clocks in at just a bit over 21 minutes, this is a compelling and satisfying effort.

CDs by Saints Eleven

This Town, 2020 Coming Back Around, 2017

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