Title - 'Bully Pulpit'
Artist - Jared Deck
For those not in the know, Jared Deck was fired from his last church music job - via text message. “I was in the studio, tracking vocals for my first album, when I got the text. I remember saying, ‘I just got fired from church.’ The producer asked if I wanted to quit for the night. I said, ‘No, let’s keep going,’ hopped into the booth, and did another take.”
That defiant, never quit attitude is a lifelong theme for blue-collar songwriter, Jared Deck, and dominates his new album, the just-released Bully Pulpit.
“I had played in churches my entire life, but that megachurch was a doozy. There was this wall of deception, complete with lip-syncing and fake-playing instruments. At one point, I was required to watch video of myself and told to look ‘more real’ on stage while no actual sound came from my instrument."
"The irony was palpable. Ultimately, I hit a point of no return, and my boss told me to walk. In hindsight, I should’ve trusted my instincts instead of submitting for the good of the order.”
Deck released his eponymous debut album in 2016 to critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone Country and American Songwriter. He won First Place in the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest for his song, The American Dream.
However, with his follow-up record, he wanted to unmask further, include more of his influences, and open up his voice. "After the debut, I still had more to say – more stories to tell. Additionally, I’ve often compartmentalized my different musical influences; I kept the gospel at church and the country at the honky-tonk."
"With Bully Pulpit, I tore down those walls to expose a more ruthless honesty about myself, my experiences, and my reflections on the world around me.”
1. 'I Don't Know What You Come To Do'
2. 'Money Back'
3. 'Where I Fall'
4. 'Make Your Mama Proud'
5. 'Great American Breakdown'
6. 'In The Name'
7. 'Sometimes I Miss Being Lonely'
8. 'Tulsa Sound'
9. 'True Believer'
10. 'There's A Leak In This Old Building'
11. 'Over And Over'
The vibrant, uplifting 'I Don't Know What You Come To Do' is the most perfect showcase to what is to follow for if you don't have your foot a-tappin' and your fingers a-snappin' after the first chorus, well, this ain't the album for you my friend, sorry.
'Money Back' brings forth the first reveal of just how good, how clean, how impassioned Deck's vocals truly are and that's backed by the lo-fi countrified ballad duo 'Where I Fall' (a heartbreaking country tale of how tragic loss can divide a home) and the folk-tinged 'Make Your Mama Proud.'
The heat is turned back up on the Americana fire-branded 'Great American Breakdown' ("I the ain't the Devil. Just the Devil you know") and that's followed by the mid-tempo, R&B slow roll of 'In The Name.'
The beautiful ballad 'Sometimes I Miss Being Lonely' is yet another example of how good Deck's voice is a cappella, and that's backed by the another ballad in the form of the quieter 'Tulsa Sound.'
The Gospel-tinged, raise the roof vibe of 'True Believer' (a stern warning of false prophets and politicians) is one of my own personal favorites here and will have your heart pounding with energy once it's done.
That's backed by the dulcet piano ballad 'There's A Leak In This Old Building' before the album rounds out with the acoustic guitar ballad of a hymn 'Over And Over.'
From gospel shouts to country croons, Bully Pulpit showcases Deck’s road-ripened voice and allows him to put a shine to otherwise coarse subjects.
So please, in closing, purchase this new album today. Put it on at home when you are lost or busy of mind. Perhaps even get a second copy for your car to listen to on those bright, breezy summer days with the windows down, for I haven't heard an album quite as majestic, as real, as unbelievably honest as this in decades - and I wouldn't want you to miss out on it.
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