‘stick figure cowboy’ album review

Image courtesy of Aaron Gillespie

album: stick figure cowboy
artist: Aaron Gillespie
genre: country
release date: November 22, 2021
star rating: four out of five

review by Levi Yager

Expanding his already impressive genre reach, the multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Aaron Gillespie just put out his first country EP – and a pretty damn good one at that. stick figure cowboy is an echo of classic country; it’s less glamour and more grit. The instrumentation is mostly just acoustic guitar, harmonica and a kick drum, with a few other elements making an entrance as needed. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s got it where it counts.

The EP starts with the heat on high and progressively simmers down as it goes on, kicking up dust with the rollicking “Money is All You Need” and finally slowing to an easy trot with the Vince Gill cover “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and its beautiful, three-part vocal harmonies (including a female guest vocalist). One of the strongest tracks is the mid-tempo ballad “Dreamers.” It’s about getting by with nothing to your name but a dream that won’t die, and it features some light banjo plucking and fiddle playing in the chorus. “Dreamers” relishes humble memories with the people you hold close.

Aaron wears his heart on his sleeve in these songs; his passion really shines through. The personal nature of this EP is evident even in the title itself, which is likely a reference to a drawing that Aaron’s son made for him and Aaron also got a tattoo of a couple years ago. Overall, it’s a great release with honest lyrics, lively guitar work and catchy melodies a-plenty. Give it a listen, and this stick figure cowboy will take you down a winding musical trail on a hazy afternoon where you’ll get lost in the tales he tells.

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