By Aaron Wagner
New music weekends can sometimes be overwhelming with star artists releasing new songs as well as the many talented rising artists who are dropping equally as good songs. Once in awhile, there’s a project that cuts through all of that and stands out. This week it’s rising artist Alex Hall’s Six Strings EP.
Alex grew up in Gainsville, Georgia and music was a huge part of his life for as long as he can remember. He played hundreds of shows as a high schooler and moved to Nashville shortly after high school to pursue his dreams over the last few years. With many years of figuring out who he is as an artist and songwriter, he recently landed a deal with Monument Records, which helped pave the way for this project.
Six Strings is a clever title for a project that focuses on guitar playing and features some of the best guitar players in country music. But it’s more than just the strings. Alex’s vocals deliver a delicate performance in the songs that need care and finesse based on the song lyrics, while he raises the volume on the others that warrant the extra punch.
I literally have nothing bad to say about this project, save for the fact that there should’ve been 10 more songs. It’s just that good. It’s great music.
Let’s dive into the songs.
He starts the project off with the groovy and curious “Other End of the Phone” with Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi. Alex shared that this was the song that caught Shane McAnally’s attention and led to his record deal with Monument Records. It’s easy to see why – it’s downright catchy, with enough playfulness that makes you crack a smile.
My favorite song on the project is this perfect collaboration with Tenille Townes on “Heart Shut.” There’s minimal production, truly showcasing their vocals and great harmonies. I think by doing so, the two are able to deliver the message of two former loves hurting when they see each other from across the room. It has the potential to rip your heart out, but damn is it one helluva song.
“Jealous Love” is one of those songs that’s just fun. Simple as that. He gets John Osborne, from Brothers Osborne, to join him on this song. There are some really fun guitar riffs throughout the song and you can just picture two great musicians in their comfort zone, playing music, and enjoying life.
Another one of my favorites (let’s be honest they’re all my favorites) is “Never Seen The World.” It’s such a beautiful sounding song with equally beautiful lyrics. Alex shared on Twitter that “It is a song I wrote about taking my wife back home to Georgia those first few trips when we started dating. She grew up in Nashville, and I grew up on a small horse farm on the outskirts of Gainesville. I guess the older I got, the less I appreciated where I came from until we started going back home together. Seeing it all through her eyes gave me a whole new love for the dirt I was raised on.” Oh, and he got the one and only Vince Gill to join him on this song. No big deal.
Keeping up with the big name collaborators, he gets Brad Paisley to join him on “Last One To Leave.” And quite honestly, it’s kind of sounds like a Brad Paisley song as the two have such a synergy on the strings and in front of the mic. Of all the songs on the project, this one features the strings front and center the most and throughout the song. It has a timeless sound to it.
He puts a bow on this project with arguably the most emotional and personal songs in “Runs In The Family.” He wrote the song with Kassi Ashton and at the time, both were dealing with family things back home, so it was only fitting that he had Kassi join him for the vocals on this song. It’s haunting and therapeutic at the same time. The perfect way to close this project.
Like I said at the beginning, this is one of those projects that stand out in a good way. I can think of a thousands adjectives and ways to describe this project that would be more eloquent, but when you talk about great music and great musicians, that’s what you hear on each song on Six Strings. Alex Hall blew it out of the water.