The days longing for a great road trip, just the open road, some killer tunes, and a healthy does of new memories seem like a distant memory anymore. Under the restrictive thumb of shutdowns and uncertainty, many people are stuck in a radius around their home that would make the middle ages peasant life feel adventurous.
Thanks to Austin, Texas-based Golden Bear, adventure is only one press of the play button away.
The latest release from Golden Bear comes in the vein of a love letter to memories of and within their home state. Dear Texas tops ten tracks bleeding with pavement sliding under your tires in an old Volvo with your friends at your side, windows down, and ample snacks to get you wherever your destination takes you; with the occasional nod to love song sensibility.
In true Golden Bear fashion, Dear Texas shifts the dial from their previous release Dimensional Place, but only sonically and not in ability. Obligatory doses of slide guitar flying over the warm plains find their wings in Dear Texas among the strumming acoustic guitar and warm sense of Americana. Thumping, slight-drawl dance over whiskey-soaked wood floors (“Two-Wheeled Hoss”), just nod to Buc-ee’s (“Port Aransas”), adventures in the sprawling metropolis of Bastrop, Texas (“Bastrop Pines”), and a salute to truckers (“CB Workin’”) all culminate in a sense of Texas that strikes straight at the heart of great Americana rock. However, in the ten tracks expertly executed by Colby Pennington (vocals), Chris Gregory (guitar, bass, keys, drums), Thom Marshall (backing vocals), and Scott Akers(pedal steel, resonator, guitar), we find an unshakable, at times, Eagles-esc sound that doesn’t exist in just one place. Exiting in long drawn chords and occasional slide, harnessing a feeling that is greater than any single line or chord, if released in 1976 this would fit snugly into the world we only experience now in photograph and great stories while dropping the needle on records like Dear Texas.
There’s Texas music, then there’s Golden Bear Texas music. In the form of Dear Texas, Golden Bear demonstrates exactly why it’s important to know the difference. With masterful strokes arching modern and classic, Dear Texas instantly, yes instantly, becomes a indisputable addition to the great American road trip whether you’re from Texas or not. While we may be stuck at home, Golden Bear pulls into the drive way, lays on the horn, leans out and entices us to follow the sun in Dear Texas. Give in and take this trip November 6, 2020 on c-side records.