No, you are not forgiven if you never heard of Lift to Experience. Niggling details such as the
Denton, TX, power (term used demonstrably) trio’s painfully brief, one-EP/one-double-LP
tenure a decade ago won’t let you off the hook; 2001’s The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads was not only one of that year’s most
stridently stirring releases, but also of the entire decade.
Your chance to pay penance for your ignorance, however,
arrives with erstwhile frontman Josh T. Pearson’s long overdue solo debut.
Comprising mostly country-folk acoustic balladeering, it’s not as sonically
apocalyptic as that ’01 album, but it’s no less devastating, emotionally
speaking – almost like he is the one
doing the genuflecting, particularly on such tracks as the minimalist, Tim
Buckley-meets-John Fahey “Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ” and the violin-strewn
antebellum folk of “Country Dumb.”
Pearson recently stormed his old Texas stomping grounds (or
thereabouts, in Austin) during a series of riveting performances at SXSW,
including one at Central Presbyterian Church in which, after verbally
genuflecting before the venue (“It feels good to be in the house of the Lord,”
he whispered), he spotlighted much of the new album in equal measures drama and
humility. Where the hell did Pearson disappear to after LtE’s dissolution? Sporadic
solo performance sightings aside, he eventually relocated to Paris and – now this. Reacquaint yourselves.
Dumb,” “Thou Art Loosed” FRED MILLS