Songs for Dark Days: Free Joe Purdy Album

Last night was the longest night of the year. It was also, possibly, the darkest day in the northern (and best) hemisphere since 1638. Today, it’s been dark and stormy and cold. The dying grass just peeks through the mounting snow, but by tomorrow it will be buried.

Sounds like the perfect time for some new, free music, doesn’t it? If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re no stranger to Joe Purdy. He’s back with his second new album of the year, and it’s pitched perfectly for this dark season. Oh, and it’s free!

This American is a softer, more down-tempo album than this years earlier 4th of July. The whole thing is exclusively Joe’s scratchy voice, guitar, and harmonica. The melodies are slow, the beats are subtle, and the lyrics are, in a minor key, soaring.

In places I get strong reminders of early Bob Dylan, without the complex metaphors. Imagine if Dylan read Hemingway. The standout songs (which you can steam at his website) include Pioneer, Oregon Trail, and The Little One. The last is a song about friendship, betrayal, what might be love, and how we all move through a world of uncertainty, and hope, in the end, to do the best we can.

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