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Trail Mix: The Far West

A number of years ago, during a discussion regarding our favored songwriters, a friend and I launched into a comparison of Bob Dylan and John Prine.

The conversation was going along fine – passionate, yet civil – until this good friend, one whose taste and opinions regarding music I much admire and respect, referred to Prine, my favorite songwriter, as “a poor man’s Dylan.”

At the time, I thought we might come to blows.  Okay, not really . . . but I do revere John Prine, and such disparagement came within a hair of fightin’ words.  I own most every note The Singing Mailman has ever recorded, and few songwriters have shoved their hands so deeply into my belly and wound my innards into as many tight little knots so often as he.

Said friend and I are still good buddies, despite his shameful remarks regarding Mr. Prine, which were on my mind recently after I gave Any Day Now, the new disc from The Far West, its first spin.  My ears did a double take just a few tunes in, as singer Lee Briante nails a young John Prine.

It should be noted that my reverence for Prine makes this is a comparison not made lightly and, as you can imagine, Briante’s voice had me rightly hooked.

The Far West hails from Los Angeles, though Briante and his bandmates came west from such far flung locales as Texas, New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts.  The band began playing together in 2010 and Any Day Now is the group’s second record, following an early self-titled release that came soon after the band’s inception.

There is much to Any Day Now that the Americana music fan will find appealing – Briante’s raspy, drawling lyrical delivery, the ramblin’, cracklin’ guitar work, the vintage car and dusty highway references, the echoes of high lonesome plains and vast open spaces.

Any Day Now is a record for fans of Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson, Todd Snider and Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmlou Harris and Lucinda Williams, and even Bobby and Johnny.

Heck  . . . I’d bet good money that Dylan and Prine fans could drop their dukes and share a listen, no doubt agreeing that this a fantastic neo-country record from a band fast on the rise.

Make sure to check out “On The Road,” the opening track from Any Day Now, on this month’s Trail Mix.  To find out more about The Far West, when they will take to a stage near you, or how to get your hands on a copy of the new record, point your browser to

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