Fans of the long and winding history and tradition of Texas-style country bar music have been rejoicing as soon as they lay ears on Austin Mayse’s well-received LP, “Bridges & Kerosene”. Maybe this 10-track album’s top achievement is twofold. Firstly, Mayse’s uncut earnestness, and secondly, producer and Tejas multifaceted artist Chris Beall has taken the role of a sherpa to these songs instead of a heavy-handed studio wizard. Allowing Mayse and his visions to breathe and prosper in all their raw glory.
“Wretch Like Me,” is an exception. It’s loaded with John Prine’s tendencies & phrasing. But it’s good. Real good. “Rattlesnake,” while explicit is dipped for a few moments in Townes van Zandt’s cauldron where “Waitin’ Around To Die” was born. It has a wonderfully chilling trumpet (unexpected) & it smokes. The trumpet returns on “The Last Rose of Summer,” & slowly starts to sound like a possible signature sound for Mr. Mayse.
"The second selection is the self-reflective and revelatory “Wretch Like Me.” Already it should dawn on the listener that this cut is more than effective music and vocal harmonies. Indeed, it is yet another early foreshadowing that this new release is more personal than the previous platter."