US Country is brilliant. Honestly, the tourism authorities should get down on their hands and knees to thank anyone at the Grand Ole Opry for their work.

The tales, the heartwarming sentimentality, the downright love for the downhome that these artists engender is incredible. Like, honestly, I’ve not been on holiday for almost 20 years but one listen to [insert whatever singer/songwriter you care to talk about] and I am looking at airline schedules.

Jordan Fletcher is another name you can add to that list. “True Stories”, he says, is merely indicative of how: “”All of my songs are autobiographical. If I’m singing it, it will be true about me. If you watched a childhood video of me on VHS, this is what you would see. I’m not making this shit up or shying away from what I believe.”

That being the case, then, let me just say that “Firebird” will ring true with anyone that has lost a parent. My mum didn’t have a favourite car, but for damn sure I don’t see her in the “gravestone and dirt” either.

That’s the highlight of these, to be fair, but the other three mark Fletcher out as a name to watch. Producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton uses him for a reason) makes the beautiful “Still Those Kids” universal. Anyone listening to this will be thinking of their first love. The difference between Fletcher and you and me? He’s still got his. And there’s a real small town sentimentality about this. Happy endings are not just for Hollywood, it seems.

“I Know You Are, But What Am I” is a vehicle for Graham’s deep voice, and the superb musicianship here suggests that this might also be a vehicle for some top talent. “Rather Be Broke” rather highlights the difference between him and me, I guess. He’d rather have the love of his life than a stack of money. Meh, money can be exchanged for goods and services, that’s all I am saying. The song, though,  we can all agree is the type of thing that sees Eric Paslay hanging up a gold disc in his toilet.

“True Stories”, then. Simply this: 12 minutes that proves country has a new star. And that is no lie.

Rating 8/10

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