Josh T. Pearson's father was a Pentecostal preacher, but after a rough childhood Josh turned to "the Devil's music". In 2001, Pearson traveled to Europe with a group called Lift to Experience where they found deep appreciation for their music. Pearson's biblical Texas music resonated with anyone who heard it.
This debut release by Josh T. Pearson was recorded in Berlin in two nights. The songwriter endured a painful break up during this time. Pearson recently said this about Last of the Country Gentlemen:
I went grey overnight... It was one of the most painful times of my life. I can't listen to it. I haven't listened to it since we've finished it. It's why people go to a priest - so no one else hears you. But playing songs live seemed to help people. I don't know if it's a big mistake, but it's coming out now. Maybe it can do some good.
Last of the Country Gentleman opens with "Thou Art Loosed". The song emits a weird, haunting pain that's almost indecipherable. "Sweetheart, I Ain't Your Christ" resembles Steve Earle's painful honesty, and Pearson's statement regarding these sessions becomes apparent.
"Woman, When I've Raise Hell" proves Pearson's gift for telling a story in a song with sparse folk instrumentation. "Honeymoon's Great! Wish You Were Here" cast a dark light on a rusting relationship with a grim, truthful pain when he sings: "I love a woman who simply ain't my wife.
"Sorry With A Song" conjures Townes Van Zandt material, and serves as one of this collection's strongest tunes. Sparks of Pearson's originality flash in these honest lyrics. "Country Dumb" adheres to this collection's quiet mood, but Pearson's vocal delivery evokes a deep sadness. The closer, "Drive Her Out" lingers in the mind. The songwriter is haunted by a lost love, and his desperation sounds palpable.
Pearson's Last of the Country Gentlemen puts him in on the radar, and rightfully so...hopefully, we'll find him on the sunny side soon...