The third album from Dylan Earl, I Saw the Arkansas, was released on 10th March 2023 on Gar Hole Records. Coming four years after his second, fans will be excited to hear this new record.
The nine-track release – containing much melancholy – takes a classic country sound and Dylan’s baritone voice, and matches them with modern lyrics and sentiments. As someone who has heard the previous releases, this reviewer had expectations for the new album, which were met – and more. Dylan’s old-school country voice is on point from the first note.
From the start, you’re stuck by the great use of the pedal steel and some guitar solos which force you to stop and listen. Each song has its merits and reason to be on this record, and it’s good to see new versions of songs which have previously not received a wide release – an example of which is One More Time, whose makeover has taken it from good, but nothing attention-grabbing to a song you should put on repeat.
The best songs on the album (although all are equally likely to give you an earworm) are the title track – I Saw the Arkansas – , the aforementioned One More Time, and the Highwaymen-esque Johnny Alabama.
If you like Dylan Earl’s previous releases, make sure you check this one out. If you like your country with a voice that sounds 30 years older than it should, proper use of pedal steel, or you’re just looking for something country that isn’t the standard fare coming out of Nashville at the moment, you should also have a listen. You may struggle to get a physical copy outside of the US, but you will find it on all streaming sites – including Dylan’s Bandcamp.